Report Cruelty | Tel: 1890 515 515 (Callers from outside of Republic of Ireland should use +353 43 33 25035) | Contact Us

News Sections

27 dogs in ISPCA care after being discovered in a van at Cairnryan ferry port by Police Scotland

Today, Friday 4th May 2018, 27 puppies and young dogs were returned to Ireland and are in ISPCA care after being discovered concealed in a van at Cairnryan ferry port in Scotland.

The dogs and puppies which include Chihuahua x, Spaniel x and Collie type puppies of various ages are believed to have originated from the Republic of Ireland. The dogs were not microchipped, which is now a legal requirement and were not accompanied by pet passports, required for the commercial movement of dogs to the UK from the Republic of Ireland. The puppies were seized by Police Scotland who immediately contacted the Scottish SPCA. Arrangements were then made for the dogs to be transported to the ISPCA. 

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said, “The manner in which these puppies were concealed illustrates the lengths to which these unscrupulous dealers will go in order to make money from unfortunate animals. While most of these puppies might not have been of high value in Ireland, it is estimated that the entire consignment may have fetched over £10,000 on the British market. For some people, that potential profit outweighs the suffering caused to vulnerable puppies. The ISPCA will be making further enquiries with regard to the origin and transport of this group of pups.  The puppies are currently receiving veterinary assessment at the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford. They are not yet available for adoption, but will be in the coming weeks. As always, we would like to appeal to anyone who is looking for a dog or puppy to please act responsibly and consider adopting from a rescue rather than going online to buy one”. 

The ISPCA is part of Operation Delphin, a joint operation targeting the illegal export of puppies from Ireland to the UK, including SSPCA, USPCA, RSPCA, HMRC, Irish Customs, UK Customs and Excise, Stena Line and other agencies.

An undercover SSPCA Inspector said, "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 from large scale puppy farms. They are then sold on at huge profit by the dealers. When trafficked pups reach their new owner via the dealers they often develop diseases such as parvo virus and giardia. Often the young dogs die from these diseases which can be extremely distressing for the owners.”                                                                            

The ISPCA would like to thank our colleagues at the Ulster SPCA for transporting the dogs from Cairnryan to Newry, where they were collected by the ISPCA before being brought to the National Animal Centre in Longford. We would also like to congratulate and thank Police Scotland for their vigilance in detecting these dogs at Cairnryan port, and the Scottish SPCA for looking after the puppies in Scotland until they could be returned to Ireland. 

If you see anything suspicious or believe an animal is being cruelly treated, neglected or abused, please contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515 or report online here  In case of an emergency, please contact your local Gardaí.

More puppies need to be rescued from illegal exports and our services are already over stretched. The ISPCA relies heavily on public support with 88% of funding received from kind donations. A new dedicated mother and puppy kennel wing is near completion at the ISPCA National Animal Centre to help puppies just like these ones.  If you can support the ISPCA by making a kind donation, please visit our website here


  • Dog breeding in Ireland is regulated by the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010
  • All dog breeders with six or more female dogs of six months of age and capable of breeding must be registered with the local authority.
  • Since 1st June 2015, all puppies must be microchipped and registered on an approved microchipping database under the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015 once they are 12 weeks old. It is also a legal requirement to be in possession of a microchipping certificate and it is important your contact details are kept up-to-date. Failure to do so will be an offence under the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013. The seller should provide you with details of the microchip. It is the buyer’s responsibility to inform the database operator of the change in owner’s details
  • Under the Balai Directive, where puppies are being transported between EU Member States for commercial purposes, they must be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies, health checked and be accompanied by a pet passport. Effectively this means that puppies must be 15 weeks of age to travel.
Viewed 14987 times.

Share This Story