Several vets have been punished in Lithuania and a number of investigations into breeders' activities have been launched in response to reports by a UK non-governmental organization about alleged illegal dog trade.

An undercover six-month investigation by UK animal charity The Dogs Trust has revealed that the absolute majority of investigated Lithuanian dog breeders would agree to provide dogs with falsified documents. The investigation also showed that licensed vets in Lithuania also agree to falsify records needed to transport dogs to say they had received rabies vaccinations when they had not or that the dogs are older than they in fact are.

In response to such reports, Lithuania's State Food and Veterinary Service, in cooperation with the Animal Rights Protection Organization of Lithuania (LGTAO), also checked breeders and vets. Several vets have been punished and the service is considering revoking licenses of several breeders.

The State Tax Inspectorate has also been involved in the process, looking into how much tax could have been potentially avoided.

LGTAO head Brigita Kymantaitė has told a press conference on Tuesday that the average price for a crossbreed dog which looks similar to a popular breed dog, without documents, ranges from 600 litas (around EUR 173) to 1,000 litas. Transportation costs stand at around 300 litas and a vet gets around 200-300 litas for falsified documents. Meanwhile in the UK, a dog trader could get around 800 pounds for such a dog.

"It's a really organized network where every member knows what they do and their goal is to deceive," Kymantaitė said.

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