Posted: Wed 16th Nov 2016

100 illegally imported puppies kept in ‘filthy conditions’ seized from organised crime gang in North Wales on Tuesday

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

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Beagles, Basset Hounds, Labradoodles and Pomeranians were amongst 100 illegally imported puppies rescued in an RSPCA-led, multi-agency operation at Holyhead Port in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The incident has been labelled a “shocking example” of the scale of the puppy trade, with the puppies – of various breeds treated as “cash bonanza” for organised criminal groups.

Following an intelligence-led move, two consignments of puppies were intercepted by Border Force as part of the partnership-driven operation. They were on two separate ferries arriving at Holyhead from Dublin on 15 November.

On the second vehicle, an attempt had been made to conceal the transported puppies behind bales of wood shavings.

The puppies were travelling in hugely inappropriate conditions, with modes of transport not ventilated, food and water not provided and the animals often kept in filthy conditions. Most were believed to be six or seven weeks old.

After an initial veterinary inspection, the puppies were deemed fit to travel back, and were returned to the Republic of Ireland, where they are now in DSPCA care. Sadly, two were later identified to have developed canine parvovirus and are under veterinary care, but the other dogs will soon be available for re-homing.

Ian Briggs, of RSPCA’s special operations unit, said:

“These poor puppies were being carted into Wales in deeply inappropriate conditions in the early hours of the morning.

Sadly, to unscrupulous dealers, these young pups are nothing more than a cash bonanza – and dealers would have been targeting tens of thousands of pounds from these shipments.

This is another shocking example of people being readily prepared to act illegally and compromise the welfare of defenceless animals to make a quick buck – but, fortunately, they were stopped in their tracks.

The RSPCA was delighted to be able to work so closely with a number of partner agencies to target these puppy dealers, and their involvement with us demonstrates the importance of working together in the interests of animal welfare. We are hugely grateful as to the commitment they have shown this critical issue.

We believe thousands of unsuspecting buyers purchase puppies who have been imported in shocking conditions, handing huge profits to unscrupulous traders.”[/vc_column_text][mp_carousel_1 carousel_images=”41898,41897,41896,41895,41894,41893,41892,41891,41890,41889″][vc_column_text]

Gareth Pritchard, Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales Police and NPCC Lead for Dangerous Dogs and Companion Animals, said:

“There is concern from many police Forces about how criminals are seeking to make money from illegal and inappropriate puppy importation. These activities can cause severe animal welfare problems and provide revenue for criminals.

We are pleased to work with the RSCPA on this important operation and the recent activity does demonstrate the scale of the problem. We will continue our discussions with the Welsh Government and DEFRA to seek improved controls on importation.”

Brian Gilles, CEO of the DSPCA, added:

“We are delighted with the outcome of this operation. We in the DSPCA believe that cooperating with agencies on both sides of the Irish Sea in sharing intelligence, resources and cooperating together will ultimately prevail against those who are involved in this disgusting, greedy trade.”

As part of wide-ranging activity at ports, the RSPCA is working in partnership with a number of agencies, under the umbrella of ‘Operation Delphin’. These include Border Force; Local Authorities, namely Isle of Anglesey County Council and Pembrokeshire County Council; the DSPCA;

These include Border Force; Local Authorities, namely Isle of Anglesey County Council and Pembrokeshire County Council; the DSPCA; ISPCA; SSPCA; USPCA; veterinary surgeons; the Police; HMRC; Welsh Government; APHA; and other agencies, to target illegal puppy traders.

The illegal trafficking of puppies is a major issue for the RSPCA, with the charity deeply concerned that large quantities of young puppies are transported into England and Wales, with welfare problems often a major concern.

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