DOG lovers across Hampshire will soon be assured about the health and welfare of their puppies thanks to a proposed new law.

Plans for a new law to prevent puppy smugglers from importing poorly dogs were backed in Parliament on Friday, March 15.

Under the Animal Welfare Bill, which regulates importation of dogs, cats and ferrets, people selling pets would be banned from importing puppies under six-months-old, while heavily pregnant dogs would also not be allowed to travel.

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The import of ‘mutilated’ animals, like puppies with cropped ears, would also be stopped.

The plans have been brought forward in a Private Members Bill by fellow Conservative MP Selaine Saxby, who said there had been a huge surge in puppy smuggling started during the Covid pandemic as owners struggled to find the puppies they wanted.

The bill will also cover the importation of cats and ferrets into the country.

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MP for North East Hampshire, Ranil Jayawardena, said: It is easy to see how many people across North East Hampshire and the country love their pets, and the special place they hold in families’ hearts.

“That’s why this bill is so important. Not just to stop criminal gangs profiting from the suffering of young animals, but to end the pain loving families feel when their beloved pet is found to be ill or in pain due to the way it was raised and brought into the country.

“By making sure pets can only be brought into this country in the proper and correct ways, this Bill will help bring puppy smuggling to an end.”