A HMRC task-force has recovered more than £5 million by tackling dishonest dog breeders selling pups on the black market.
HMRC set up the taskforce in October 2015 after discussions with animal welfare groups that were concerned that tens of thousands of puppies were being reared in unregulated conditions and sold illicitly every year.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, said:
‘It is utterly appalling that anyone would want to treat puppies in such an inhumane way and on such a scale. It’s also deeply unfair to all of the legitimate businesses who do pay the right tax, and the total recovered by the taskforce is equivalent to the annual salaries for more than 200 newly qualified teachers.’
Two traders targeted include unconnected puppy breeders in the west of Scotland who were handed tax bills of £425,000 and £337,000.