Illegal puppy traders admit bringing dogs into country

Illegal puppy traders admit bringing dogs into country

by Ollie Cowan (February 2017)

A HUNGARIAN couple living in Southport have pleaded guilty to bringing potentially rabid puppies into the UK to sell on Gumtree and Preloved websites.

As Anna Balintova, and Ladislav Balint, both 58, of Skipton Avenue, appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court on February 17, prosecutor Fiona Townsend told of how trading standards got involved after being contacted by a concerned member of the public. 

There are strict regulations on bringing pets into the UK for commercial purposes but Mrs Townsend explained to the court that provision is made for European citizens to carry up to five of their own pets provided they are issued with a Pet Passport which confirms the ownership and identity of a pet and whether it has been inoculated against rabies.

She said that Mr Balint and his wife had returned to Hungary where one Chihuahua and four pug puppies were given passports on March 18. The couple then made the crossing with the puppies to Kent four days later.


“Advertisements in relation to the puppies imported by the defendants were placed on the local Gumtree and Preloved websites on March 21,” she said. A warrant was executed and the puppies were seized at the defendants’ address.”

The puppies are understood to have cost £400 each and were advertised for £880 each in the UK. They did not go to quarantine and went straight to the Skipton Avenue address, the court heard.

The puppies were 10-12 weeks old when they were seized meaning that they were approximately 7-9 weeks old when they were registered and too young for a rabies vaccine to be effective. None of the puppies had rabies.

Magistrates agreed to grant a conditional discharge for three years, but ordered that they pay full council costs of £1,126.26 and each pay a victim surcharge of £20.

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