When, who and how to report to the competent authorities if you suspect the illegal importation of pets in England and Wales
Veterinary surgeons can often be the first to suspect that an animal may have been illegally imported when a client brings their pet for its first check-up. It is therefore paramount that, where appropriate, vets, Local Authority Animal Health Function (LAAHF) and APHA work collaboratively to report and act upon the suspected illegal importation of animals in a timely and effective manner.
To achieve this, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the National Animal Health and Welfare Panel (NAHWP) have developed the following guidance note and compliance flow chart, supported by Dogs Trust, to support vets in their considerations of when and how to report the suspected illegal importation of pets.
This document provides summary guidance on navigating client confidentiality, how to report concerns of illegal imports and an overview of how local authorities are likely to respond.
If you’re concerned that an animal is illegally imported, here are our top tips:
- If you have any suspicions that the animal in your care does not comply with Pet Travel Scheme requirements on the handy joint BVA and National Animal Health and Welfare Panel compliance flowchart below, you can report this to your Local Authority Animal Health Function (LAAHF) – either Trading Standards or Environmental Health Services.
- Look up a direct contact number for your local Trading Standards or call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133, who will refer you directly to local Trading Standards or Environmental Health Services.
- Note this number down on the flowchart and put it up in visible locations around your practice for staff to refer to.
- Reporting isn’t a legal requirement, but if you wish to report your suspicions and are unsure about how to navigate client confidentiality or data protection, read our guidance note below for more information.