Overall, local authorities must be able to make decisions based on local needs, resource priorities and the local arrangements that work best for them. While local authorities have powers of entry to inspect complaints of suspected animal cruelty and take out prosecutions where necessary, so do the Animal & Plant Health Agency and the police. I am aware that all three often work in close partnership to ensure that the welfare of animals, including horses, is protected.
I share your concern about this crime and I wish to assure you that the issue is taken very seriously. The Government are working hard to tackle this problem, targeting both the supply and demand of illegally imported dogs. This approach includes international engagement, enforcement, public communications and tighter regulation.