Trading standards warning over smuggled pup Image:Central Bedfordshire Council

Pets smuggled into the country may not have received an effective rabies vaccination

Central Bedfordshire Council Trading Standards is warning well-meaning residents to be aware of the requirements for bringing a pet into the UK.

Earlier this week, officers from the trading standards team stepped in after receiving a report that a Houghton Conquest resident had recently entered the UK from Ireland with a new puppy without following the law.

As a result, the puppy was required to be taken into quarantine for monitoring. It will now be microchipped and receive a rabies vaccination, all at the owner’s expense.

The UK is a rabies free country, but puppies or other pets smuggled into the country may not have received an effective vaccination. Rabies is a fatal disease of the nervous system that can affect all mammals, including humans, cats, dogs, farmed animals and wildlife.

It is important to quarantine any animal which hasn’t been vaccinated to monitor whether rabies is present or not and also reduce the risk of it spreading.

If residents are travelling from or to the UK with their pet, they are urged to make sure they are aware of the rules by visiting the Bring your Pet to the UK website.

Central Bedfordshire Council executive member for Community Services, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, said:

“Our strict anti-rabies laws and protocols are there for very good reasons and they will be enforced.”