Customs dog discovers 18 smuggled puppies while sniffing for drugs
Ireland's reputation as the puppy farm capital of Europe is being challenged as the Government looks to clamp down on the illegal trade of animals.
It comes after a Customs dog used to sniff out drugs and illegal cigarettes discovered 18 puppies being illegally exported to England in the boot of a car.
The DSPCA said that the illegal trade of animals across borders was a huge issue.
DSPCA Head of Education Gillian Bird said that the illegal trade of puppies costs the taxpayer millions in lost revenue every year.
Some puppy traders are making profits of 1,000pc by illegally selling animals.
"These puppy traders are buying animals without microchips and the relevant paper work for €80 or €120 and then selling them on in the UK or on the continent for €800 to €1,000," said Ms Bird.
"Some of these animals are sold cheaply but the way that they are reared means some might have long-term health issues," she added.
Three of the 18 dogs discovered by Customs officials in Dublin Port this week are said to be in poor health. All of them were discovered in the back of a saloon car that was on the way to England where they were due to be sold on.
The DSPCA is now caring for the animals and they hope that they will be able to make the puppies available for adoption in the next three weeks.
"There is nothing wrong with the transportation of animals as long as your vehicle is registered for the safe transportation of dogs and the animals have passports," said Ms Bird.
"These dogs were all travelling in the boot of a car and had no paperwork. The dog who found them was looking for drugs so this was a stroke of luck."