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29 October 2013, 07:18 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
A Portsmouth woman has admitted illegally importing dogs into the UK from Poland.
Anna Mazur was prosecuted by Portsmouth City Council after a vet reported her.
The council say the 33-year-old 'is an agent for a dog-importing and selling business run by her partner's family in Poland. She accepts litters of puppies sent by courier from Poland and accommodates the dogs in her flat whilst she advertises and handles their sale through UK websites.'
Between December 2012 and March 2013, 23 French bulldogs, Beagles and Labradors were imported by Ms Mazur through Portsmouth Port, but the dogs did not carry the necessary completed, signed health certificates required for importation into the UK. UK health certificates are the most appropriate means of guaranteeing and monitoring compliance with the requirements to stop the introduction of rabies into the UK.
Portsmouth's environmental health officers were alerted when an Oxford vet became suspicious after examining one of the animals sold by Anna Mazur. When he inspected the animal's paperwork he realised that it was incorrect and alerted Oxford City Council who contacted colleagues in Portsmouth.
On Monday 28 October 2013, at Portsmouth Magistrates Court, Ms Mazur, of Halliday Crescent, Eastney, pleaded guilty to eight charges of importing 29 dogs into Britain from Poland. The charges were brought against her under the Rabies (Importation of Dogs, Cats and other mammals) Order 1974, section 72 (a) of the Animal Health Act 1981, and the Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations 2011.
The judge took into account the early plea and sentenced her to two years conditional discharge. This means that if the defendant commits any offence within two years then the charges brought about her today will be taken into consideration.
Portsmouth City Council was awarded full costs of £1,466.26. Steve Bell, Team Leader from Portsmouth City Council's Environmental Health Team, said:
"We are really pleased with the outcome of this case. Legislation is in place to protect the health of UK residents from animal diseases such as rabies and we hope that this case will serve as a deterrent to other people considering carrying out illegal activity in Portsmouth."
The puppies have now spent the required 21 days in quarantine and are all now back with their new owners.