Stefan Klippstein is an expert on the dog trade. For over five years now, the volunteer animal welfarist has been rescuing dogs from smugglers. Millions of dogs are thought to be sold illegally in Europe every year.
The illegal trade in dogs is a billion-euro business, turning profits on par with arms and drug smuggling. Most of the canines come through Romania; most of the buyers live in Germany. Many of the dogs are ill and haven't been vaccinated. But EU regulations are strict and quite clear: every exported dog must have an implanted chip, which is registered in a Europe-wide databank. It records information such as mandatory vaccinations and previous owners. But the dog mafia can easily forge all this data. Animal welfarist Stefan Klippstein devotes his efforts to putting a stop to the dog mafia and its operations. How much can he hope to achieve? A Report by Lavinia Pitu.