Growing numbers of illegally imported puppies in Northamptonshire

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Northamptonshire residents are being advised about the dangers of buying puppies at a price that seems too good to be true.

The warning is being issued by Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service because their animal health team has seen an increase in the number of illegally imported puppies from across Europe.

The puppies are imported on incomplete, false or fraudulent paperwork and frequently their health is compromised as they are poorly bred and are very young.

The biggest concern is that the majority of puppies have not had rabies vaccinations, or the vaccinations are invalid, therefore posing a disease risk to the UK and its residents.

The puppies are generally sold for a cheaper price than those bred in the UK to entice people to purchase them. But what might appear to be a bargain actually comes with a high cost because if they are found to be non-compliant with importation legislation, the puppies will be detained in quarantine at the expense of the new owner, with fees in excess of £1,000.

Cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage said: “Increasing numbers of puppies are being imported illegally into the UK from puppy farms across Europe and are being sold via adverts on the internet and in newspaper small ads.

“Not only are these puppies probably unhealthy, poorly bred and too young to be rehomed, they often have not had the correct rabies vaccinations. This means that although you might think you are getting a bargain, you risk being hit by substantial costs with quarantine fees potentially more than £1,000 and not to mention the emotional costs of having a puppy taken from the home.”

Trading standards has created an advice leaflet that will be distributed throughout Northamptonshire highlighting the risks and warning signs to watch out for when purchasing a puppy. Anyone with any concerns can contact the animal health team by emailing