Illegal transport of puppies on rise on run up to Christmas
An animal welfare charity is pleading with the public to be extra vigilant, as the numbers of puppies being illegally imported and exported, is already on the rise in the run up to Christmas.
The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) have taken in nine puppies, five of which were part of the seizure at Rosslare Europort last week.
The DSPCA is asking that any members of the public who notice any suspicious movement of animals in large or small quantities to contact them or their local anti-animal cruelty organisation as Ireland is considered the puppy farm capital of Europe.
The organisation is also pointing out that there are already puppies, as young as one or two weeks old on sale on numerous websites and says, “the use of these sites for selling animals needs to urgently be made illegal.”
Seventeen dogs were rescued in Rosslare after the driver of a people carrier was stopped by customs last week. It is believed the dogs were either stolen or bought from breeders.
The dogs, five adult Springer Spaniels, seven Springer Spaniel puppies, two adult German Shepherds and three Jack Russell terrier puppies, were found in cramped and unsuitable cages.
The animals were being brought to the UK in an unapproved vehicle and had no accompanying paper work when they were found.
Of the animals seized, a female German Shepherd who was heavy in pup and gave birth just hours after being rescued.
Brian Gillen, CEO of the DSPCA said: “As we are now approaching the Christmas period and we are already seeing a significant increase in the number of puppies exported by puppy farmers and puppy traders from the Republic to the UK.
“So far it’s difficult to put actual concrete figures on the numbers of puppies seized but anecdotally there is definitely an increase on this time last year which is extremely worrying.
“We are pleading with the public to be extra vigilant when it comes to the illegal transportation of animals and report any suspicious activity to us. We really need their help to help stamp out this cruelty for the sake of money.
“We are issuing a caution to any individual who may be contemplating shipping puppies illegally that the above provisions are in place. Those individuals who do not comply may have their animals seized and face prosecution.
Authorised officers have the right to seize and prosecute owners. A person transporting puppies or dogs for sale in the UK or Europe is subject to several animal welfare regulations and certs issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine within 48 hours of scheduled departure time from Ireland.
All puppies and dogs must have an EU Pet Passport and be properly vaccinated and microchipped.
Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney added:”Those involved in this type of illegal trade will not be tolerated. Controls are being stepped up with a view to stamping out the illegal trade in dogs and pups.
“The seizure of this consignment should send a clear message to the minority involved in this type of illegal trade.”