Thursday 21 September 2017

Two charged after gardai seize 36 puppies

Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

TWO men are to appear in court next month after gardai found 36 puppies in the back of two cars.

The cars were stopped on the Old Malahide Road in the Coolock area of north Dublin on Tuesday night and gardai found the puppies when they searched the vehicles.

The men, in their 20s and 30s, who were arrested and taken to Coolock garda station have been charged with breaches of the Animals Act. They were released on bail to appear before Dublin District Court on November 1.

The trade in puppies is a lucrative one, with animals trafficked from Ireland to the UK market selling as family pets for up to €700 each.

The illegal trafficking of puppies in dreadful conditions is now widespread due to the lucrative illegal profits involved, according to the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).

Some puppies rescued by the DSPCA from traffickers require special care as they are too young to be taken away from their mothers.

Inhumane

Anyone convicted of inhumane treatment of animals faces fines and a possible prison sentence.

Popular breeds trafficked for sale abroad include Jack Russells, as well as Labradors, Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, and Beagles.

DSPCA spokeswoman Gillian Bird said with forged papers for dogs traffickers could get between €600 to €700 per puppy.

"We suspect this is widespread," she said.

Since July, dog breeders in Ireland with more than six breeding bitches are legally obliged to register with their local councils to protect animal welfare. However, there is concern that smaller operators will operate illegally.

New laws regulating puppy farms have been introduced to prevent hundreds of animals being raised in horrible conditions.

And while it is now compulsory for dogs bred in such centres to be microchipped, the DSPCA wants to see compulsory microchipping of all dogs.

DSCPA chief executive Brian Gillen called on the public to be vigilant when considering buying a puppy, particularly with the increase in online sources.

"Do not buy from the boot of a car or van and always arrange to meet the puppy with its parents at the breeder's home -- the conditions the mother is living in is a good indication of health and welfare."

Irish Independent

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