Be careful of buying puppies online or through small newspaper ads, they could have been illegally imported.
Puppies are often smuggled into the UK without a rabies vaccination, which threatens the UK's rabies-free status.
After a puppy's first rabies vaccine at 12 weeks, it cannot be exported for 21 days. So if someone tries to sell you a puppy that has a pet passport and is younger than 15 weeks, it has been imported illegally and does not have full immunity to the rabies virus.
If you take your new puppy to the vet and the vet has concerns about it's origin the vet must report it.
Your puppy will be put in quarantine and you (the buyer) will have to pay fees (sometimes more than £1000).
Tips when buying a puppy
- Be suspicious if the seller can not show you the puppy with its mother and litter mates. View the puppy where it was bred.
- Get as much information about where the puppy has come from and beware if the seller is from outside the UK.
- If the puppy has been vaccinated ask to see the documentation. This must clearly state the veterinary practice where this was carried out. Be suspicious if the address of the veterinary practice is outside the UK.
- If the seller informs you that the puppy has been brought in from another country it should have a pet passport or a veterinary certificate.
- Never agree to have the puppy delivered to your home address or to meet the seller to collect the puppy. If the seller wants you to do this be very suspicious.
- Never pay for the puppy in advance.
If you have any doubts about a puppy you are planning to purchase speak to your vet or Oldham Council Animal Health.
If you suspect a puppy you have bought may have come from abroad and does not have a Pet Passport it may be in contravention of UK rabies legislation.