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Operation Delphin crackdown on illegal puppy trade

19 DECEMBER 2018

ISPCA Animal Welfare Inspectors were present at Rosslare ferry port to Fishguard route last night for a vehicle search as part of the Operation Delphin crackdown on the illegal puppy trade.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: “We believe that thousands of puppies are transported to Britain from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland every year. And ferries are the most common method of smuggling puppies from Ireland.  As well as intelligence led operations, we conduct spot-checks like these and hope it will send a clear message to unscrupulous dealers that the authorities are watching. We have been working with Operation Delphin to disrupt the behaviour of these illegal puppy dealers who go to any length to make money”.

ISPCA Operation Delphin

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

Earlier this year, 27 puppies were seized at Cairnryan ferry port, returned to Ireland and transported to the ISPCA National Animal Centre where they were cared for and responsibly rehomed.

As always, the ISPCA would like to appeal to anyone who is looking for a dog or puppy to please act responsibly and consider adopting from a rescue in the New Year, rather than going online to buy one. If you do choose to look online, read the advice on what to look out for in online adverts, do your research, and walk away if you spot red flags. Visit and don’t fall prey to a #PuppyDotCon.

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 ISPCA services are already over stretched relying on 88% of funding is received from kind donations from members of the public. If you can support the ISPCA this Christmas by making a kind donation, please visit our donation page

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