THE MP for Taunton Deane has thrown her support behind a parliamentary bill which would crack down on puppy smuggling.

Rebecca Pow has supported a private members bill brought forward by the MP for North Devon, Selanie Saxby, who said there was a surge in the crime after the breakout of the Covid pandemic.

“I am glad the Government is supporting this vital Bill and committed to its swift passage to safeguard the welfare of thousands of puppies, dogs, cats and ferrets that come into Great Britain from overseas each year,” she said. 

“I would like to thank the tireless campaigning from pet charities who have shared their views about this Bill.

“I hope they are reassured by the measures outlined in the Bill which will stop this cruel trade by closing loopholes exploited by unscrupulous commercial traders.

“We really are a nation of pet lovers, and this legislation will ensure the UK is leading the world when it comes to animal welfare.”

The Bill will also cover the importation of cats and ferrets into the country.

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, said she would be backing Selaine’s bill and said it would bring peace of mind to families looking for a new pet.

“It is easy to see how many people across Taunton Deane and the country love their pets and the special place they hold in families’ hearts,” Rebecca said. 

“That’s why this Bill is so important – not just to stop criminal gangs profiting from the suffering of young animals – but to end the pain loving families feel when their beloved pet is found to be ill or in pain due to the way it was raised and brought into the country.”

“By ensuring pets can only be brought into this country in the proper and correct ways, this Bill will help bring puppy smuggling to an end.”

If passed the law would see people banned from importing puppies which are under six months old, while heavily pregnant dogs would be prohibited from being travelled and puppies with mutiliations such as cropped ears would be blocked from being transported.