Puppy smuggling - Council issues appeal for information from public

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

A multi-agency PAWS for Thought Operation between Mid and East Antrim Council’s Animal Welfare Officers, DAERA Portal Staff and PSNI at the Port of Larne continues to target illegal movements of dogs.

The operation focuses on the welfare of animals, with Council Officers seizing a large number of pups during four separate incidents in recent weeks.

In addition, officers have stopped and checked a number of other vehicles, gathering information and progressing lines of enquiry around the origin of pups.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston said: “This sends out a clear message that enforcement bodies will take whatever action necessary to ensure that the welfare of animals is protected, that illegal movement will not be tolerated and that legislative requirements are met.

APPEALTO PUBLIC

“Council will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure the information gathered is shared with local enforcement bodies and those in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, in order to allow agencies to use their respective powers to tackle the illegal puppy trade.

“However, legislation alone will not stop illegal puppy farming.

“This will take a concerted effort by members of the public and relevant enforcement agencies working together to identify breeders who put financial gain before the welfare needs of their dogs and pups.

“I would encourage anyone with specific information of an illegal breeding establishment or indeed where there are animal welfare concerns to contact Council on 028 25 633 134.”

To find out more about our PAWS for Thought Operation or if you are thinking of buying a puppy then visit Council’s website.

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