Gardai seize further 56 puppies in search of van
GARDAI have seized another 56 puppies during the search of a van at a port -- the second such seizure in three days.
Almost 100 puppies are now being cared for by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) following the two seizures.
In a joint operation by gardai, customs officers and members of the DSPCA, a van was stopped and searched at Dublin Port on Thursday evening.
A total of 56 pups from a variety of breeds, including beagles and Labradors, were found inside and taken into the care of the animal welfare organisation.
They are understood to be around two months old.
A 46-year-old man was arrested and taken to Store Street garda station for questioning. He was later released without charge and gardai are continuing their investigation.
It is the second large-scale seizure of pups made in Dublin in recent days.
A total of 36 puppies were found in the back of two cars in the Coolock area of north Dublin on Tuesday night.
Two men were charged with breaches of the Animal Act in relation to that operation and will appear before the district court next month.
Gardai last night refused to say whether the latest seizure was connected to the two on the Old Malahide Road in Coolock and said their investigation into the latest haul of pups was "ongoing".
The animals now being cared for by the DSPCA are being held in quarantine.
The society has already been "inundated" with offers from the public to adopt the puppies found earlier this week.
There is a lucrative trade in puppies from Ireland to the UK, where some breeds of puppy can be sold for as much as €700 each. Animal welfare campaigners believe the illegal trafficking of puppies is now widespread because of the large sums of money involved.
They claim that such animals are often bred in dreadful conditions.
The DSPCA has previously rescued puppies from traffickers which were too young to be taken away from their mothers.
The society urged members of the public not to buy puppies "from the boot of a car or van" and to always arrange to see the puppy with its parents in the breeder's home.
"The conditions the mother is living in is a very good indication of health and welfare," said DSPCA chief executive Brian Gillen.