§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the theft and illegal export of dogs from the United Kingdom to(a) Ireland and (b) other European countries. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 12 May 2003]: The Home Office advise that the theft of property, including dogs, is a crime under the Theft Act 1968 and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
On the issue of exportation of dogs, there are currently no harmonised arrangements governing the movement of dogs between Member States of the European Union. Most European countries including Ireland require a health certificate issued by our Local Animal Health Divisional Offices. The certification will vary depending on the specific requirements of the individual Member State receiving the dog.
Dogs travelling from the UK without the required certification will be accepted back into the UK provided they are accompanied by an official declaration from the intended country of destination stating that the dogs have remained constantly under official supervision and have not come into contact with other animals.