A number of people have reported a number of DEFRA inspections in the UK recently.
In one instance a rescue centre has reported that the last time they had rescue dogs delivered from Spain both DEFRA and Trading Standards were waiting for them to check all the dogs and the van.
In another a charity has reported that all the dogs that they re-homed owners had a visit from DEFRA to confirm that they are the new owners and not another charity.
From our own perspective on our last transport we were questioned on a routine stop as to where the dogs we going, where they were coming from, how we could afford the van, who was paying for the transport of the animals, were the animals being sold in the UK, how did we get the animals to transport etc. These are all standard questions that we have been asked over the years but the impression was very much that they are tightening up and getting more vigorous with the implementation of the rules.
Further evidence of this is that we have had a call from Trading Standards in the UK and have arranged a meeting with them. They have just been informed by DEFRA that we are operating a transport business and want to have an introductory meeting. Given that DEFRA have known that we have been operating the transport business from the UK for around two years the timing would again indicate that more attention is been given to the import of animals to the UK.
There is no problem at all with this as far as we are concerned. The animals welfare always has and always will be the first priority.
From a personal perspective I am not surprised that given the recent increase in the number of transport companies, the recent issues with dogs not being passported correctly and missing microchips, and the increased number of people re-homing rescue dogs they are concerned at the increased levels of dogs and cats going into Spain, and in ensuring that people are aware of the rules.