Warning Issued To Pet Buyers Over Illegally Imported Pups

A warning has been issued to people buying pets in Northern Ireland after a pup advertised for sale on the internet was found to be from outside the UK and had not been properly vaccinated.

The seller arranged to meet the buyers at a car park in the Mid Ulster area and had a van full of puppy's for sale.

When the pup that was bought was examined by a vet it was found to have been imported from outside the UK, had not been properly vaccinated and was much younger than the 15 weeks advertised.
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Jackie Robinson, Director of Animal Health and Welfare Policy at Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said: "There is ongoing illegal trade in pups imported from eastern Europe, and there has been an increase of instances of genuine purchasers being duped into buying illegally imported pups. These pups are often bred in very poor conditions which give rise to major health and welfare concerns.

"Where the legal requirements are not met, pets will either go into quarantine for a period of up to four months at the owners' expense, or be sent back to the country they have travelled from, or the dog may be destroyed. This is necessary to keep Northern Ireland free of diseases such as rabies and Alveolar Echinococcus (a very severe human disease caused by tapeworms.)

"In addition to the potential disease risk from pups not properly vaccinated, the current cost of placing a dog into quarantine is approximately £1,000, and this could rise significantly depending on the individual circumstances or the length of stay required until a dog is authorised to leave. 

"The reality is that not all families will be able to afford these additional costs and therefore face the risk of having to experience the heartache of not being reunited with their family pet."


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