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Probe as 11 greyhounds suffocate on ferry trip

an investigation has been launched after 11 greyhounds were found dead on board an Irish Ferries ship.

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

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

The Department of Agriculture confirmed that it is currently investigating what they described as a "very serious incident".

"We are liaising closely with the French authorities since this incident came to light," a department official said.

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

Irish Ferries said that the incident was "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," a spokesperson said.

"Had we known, the dogs could have been housed in our on-board kennels with adequate space and air circulation.

"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.