Handling staff at Luton airporthave caught a Canadian horse-breeder trying to “smuggle” her two dogs into the UK.
The two Jack Russells were found among 30 showjumpers which were being brought into the country from Calgary, in Canada.
The horses were being imported legally and the owner believed she was also entitled to bring her dogs with her on the pet passport scheme.
She was right in part – animals can enter the UK, providing they have had all the necessary injections and their passports are complete. However, Luton only has a licence to deal with ungulates (hoofed animals) — small animals must enter Britain at Heathrow or Gatwick.
A spokesperson from the handling unit told HHO: “She genuinely wasn’t aware that she couldn’t bring the animals through Luton and was not attempting to smuggle them in.
“In accordance with DEFRA guidelines, the two pets, with the owner’s knowledge, were taken to Brussels where they are now being dealt with.”
Under the Rabies Order (Importationof Dogs, Cats and other Mammals) 1974, a person who imports an animal without a licence must have the animal quarantined, re-exported or destroyed, and be prosecuted. The maximum penalty for serious offences is a year in jail and an unlimited fine.
For more information on travelling your pet abroad visit: www.defra.gov.uk