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, BVA and the National Animal Health and Welfare Panel (NAHWP) have developed a guidance note and compliance flowchart, supported by Dogs Trust, to support vets in their considerations of when and how to report the suspected illegal importation of pets.
This documentation 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 (see flowchart), 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 03454 04 05 06, who will refer you directly to the relevant Trading Standards or Environmental Health Services.
- Note this number down on the handy joint BVA and National Animal Health and Welfare Panel compliance flowchart and put it up in visible locations around your practice for staff to refer to.
If you’re unsure about how to navigate client confidentiality or data protection, read our guidance note for more information.