Friday 17 January 2020

Investigation launched into deaths of greyhounds aboard Oscar Wilde ferry

The Irish Ferries vessel Oscar Wilde
The Irish Ferries vessel Oscar Wilde

Louise Kelly

An investigation has been launched into the discovery of 11 dead greyhounds aboard an Irish Ferries vessel.

The dogs were found in cages in a van on the Oscar Wilde ferry on Monday afternoon just before the Cherbourg destination was reached.

The Department of Agriculture told independent.ie that it is currently investigating this “very serious incident”.

“We are liaising closely with the French authorities since this incident came to light,” according to a department official.

A vet who examined the bodies of the greyhounds determined that they had smothered during the 14-hour journey from Rosslare to Cherbourg.

It is understood that the dogs had initially travelled from Tipperary before boarding the vessel at Rosslare.

Irish Ferries told independent.ie this evening labelled the incident "a very sad affair" and stated that they "very much regret that these dogs were not reported to us".

"We had no idea whatsoever that these dogs were on this vehicle. Had we known, the dogs could have been housed in our on-board kennels with adequate space and air circulation," said a spokesperson for the company.

"On the very same ferry travelling to Cherbourg, there were a number of pets that travelled across and they arrived safe and well."

The driver of the vehicle was arrested and questioned by French police but has since been released.

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