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Ten puppies seized in Cairnryan port

Ten puppies were seized in Cairnryan port in Scotland yesterday as part of Operation Delphin* while they were being transported from Ireland to the UK illegally. This is one of a number of seizures of puppies at Cairnryan port over the past few months totalling 40 puppies. All puppies were returned to Belfast port and are now in the care of the ISPCA.

The puppies, five basset hounds and five pug crosses, are all approximately eight weeks old, far too young to travel. They were not microchipped and were not accompanied with pet passports, required for travel to the UK.

The puppies are currently receiving veterinary assessment, and appear in good health. They are not currently available for rehoming, but will be in the coming weeks.

ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said, “This is another example of the illegal behaviour of dog breeders in Ireland. Puppies like these are transported at a vulnerable age and many are too young to be separated from their mothers, let alone endure the journey to the UK. In addition, all puppies must be microchipped and registered before leaving their place of birth, which these were not. We would also like to appeal to anyone who is looking for a dog to act responsibly and consider adopting from a rescue rather than buying one.”

When the puppies are available for rehoming, they will be posted on the Rehoming section of the ISPCA website in the coming weeks.

If you believe an animal is being neglected, abused or cruelly treated, please call the ISPCA confidential animal cruelty helpline on 1890 515 515 or report cruelty online in confidence.

*Operation Delphin is a joint operation targeting the illegal export of puppies from Ireland to the UK, led by the Scottish SPCA and includes the ISPCA, USPCA, DSPCA, RSPCA, HMRC, Irish Customs, UK Customs and Excise, Stena Line and other agencies.

  • Dog breeding in Ireland is regulated by the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010. All breeders with 6 or more female dogs of 6 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 database under the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015.
  • Under the Balai Directive, where puppies are being exported for commercial purposes, they must be vaccinated against rabies and be accompanied by a pet passport. Effectively this means that puppies must be 15 weeks of age to travel. 
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