Calls for crackdown after 20 puppies are smuggled in 'horrific way' to Scotland
'This was a horrific way to transport these vulnerable puppies' - ISPCA
The ISPCA have called for action against illegal dog breeding after seizing 20 puppies who had been smuggled into Scotland in the boot of a car.
The puppies were all aged from four to eight weeks old, and were too young to travel.
Those rescued included Shih Tzus, Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pugs and Cocker Spaniels, none of which were accompanied by pet passports.
Although they had been microchipped, the puppies were not registered on an approved database, as is required under the regulations for microchipping of dogs.
The Scottish SPCA seized the dogs from Cairnryan ferry port and transferred them to the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre in Longford, where they have received full veterinary examinations.
The Shih Tzu puppies are estimated to be less than six weeks old, and therefore too young to be separated from their mother. The puppies had to be hand-fed by staff at the centre.
“This was a horrific way to transport these vulnerable puppies and the person they were seized from had no regard for their welfare," said Dr Andrew Kelly, CEO of the ISPCA.
"We do not know exactly where these puppies originated from in Ireland but our investigations are continuing.
“The ISPCA believes it is time for a crackdown on illegal behaviour by dog breeders in Ireland and is calling on all local authorities to enforce the Dog Breeding Establishments (DBE) legislation robustly and to take action where breeders fail to comply.”
An undercover inspector for the Scottish SPCA added that the puppies were seized as part of Operation Delphin, a joint operation targeting the illegal export of puppies from Ireland to the UK.
"Unfortunately the puppy trade is big business in Scotland, with thousands of dogs being brought into the country each year, from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in particular,” the inspector said.
The ISPCA is looking for new homes for the rescued puppies. More information on rehoming is available at ispca.ie.