HMRC recovers £5m unpaid tax from puppy farmers

HMRC has recovered more than £5 million in unpaid tax from hundreds of dog breeders and traders who sell puppies on the black market.

Since an investigation into the puppy breeders was launched in 2015, HMRC has gained £5,393,035, spanning 257 separate cases. Furthermore, a number of arrests have been made.

Among others, the special task force targeted a former Crufts judge who was breeding puppies in the Midlands, who was found to owe £185,000 in unpaid taxes, while two unconnected breeders in Scotland were handed bills of £425,000 and £337,000.

Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said it was “utterly appalling” that anyone would want to treat puppies in such an inhumane manner.

She added: "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.”