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LAST week Suffolk Trading Standards received a call from a  veterinary surgeon to say that a puppy they had examined, appeared to have been imported into the UK illegally. The Bishon Frise had come from Romania and found to have been given vaccinations too early to be effective. An imported dog must be a minimum of 12 weeks old when vaccinated, however paperwork showed that the dog would have been much younger and therefore far too young to have been imported. The puppy was quarantined and re-vaccinated before being released.


  An imported dog must be a minimum of 12 weeks old when it is vaccinated; otherwise there is a danger that the vaccine could be ineffective. A vaccine takes at least 21 days to take effect before an animal is fully protected, if this hasn’t occurred then it undermines the protections in place to stop rabies coming to the UK.


  The regulations on animal imports are in place to protect the UK’s rabies free status.Trading Standards is now advising people to make sure they know where their new puppy has come from and has had a health check by a vet.


  Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards Councillor Matthew Hicks said: “The main issue around illegally imported puppies is that we can’t guarantee that the dogs are properly vaccinated and rabies-free.


  “These puppies are usually sold via adverts on the internet and in newspaper small ads. The dogs are accompanied by incomplete, false, and forged documentation which lead buyers to believe they have been imported legally or bred in the UK.


  “I would encourage anyone who is thinking of buying a puppy to read our advice carefully before adding a pet to your family.”


Trading Standards is offering the following advice:


   Get as much information about where the puppy has come from.

   Be suspicious if the seller cannot show you the puppy with its mother and litter mates.

   View the puppy where it was bred.

   If the puppy has been vaccinated, ask to see the documentation. This must clearly state the veterinary practice where this was carried out.

   If the seller informs you that the puppy has been brought in from another country, it should have a pet passport with a valid rabies vaccination recorded in it. The date of import must be at least 21 days after the date of rabies vaccination.

   Puppies must be at least 12 weeks old before having a rabies vaccination administered, then must wait a further 21 days prior to travel.

   Never pay for the puppy in advance.


Anyone who has concerns about a puppy they have bought should contact their vet in the first instance. If you suspect your puppy has been illegally imported, you can report it to Trading Standards by calling 03454 040506


Bogus trading standards callers

SUFFOLK Trading Standards has been alerted by their colleagues in Essex about roofers calling at homes, claiming to be from Trading Standards.


  The callers are claiming that a roofer who recently carried out work is being investigated. The caller claims that they can carry out a survey of the resident’s roof and that they will be able to claim compensation as part of the investigation. They are then asking the resident for sums of around £2,000.


  Trading Standards Officers are highly unlikely to visit a consumer’s home unless they have already been asked to by the consumer or a trusted friend or relative. Trading Standards Officers will NEVER ask a resident for money.


There are certain precautions that can be taken to guard against doorstep callers:

Fit and use a door security chain when you open the door.

Check the identification of a caller by ringing their employer. Use the telephone number from your telephone book and not one they might supply.

Do not let anyone carry out work on your house until you get a second opinion, and never agree to callers who say “we are only in the area today”.

Never keep large sums of money in the house and keep purses out of sight, not near the door.

Please report any suspicious traders to us via 03454 040506.


Warnings about puppies imported from Europe

 Suffolk Trading Standards weekly news