One of them is said to be unwell and on a drip
Eighteen puppies who were in the process of being illegally exported to the UK have been seized at Dublin Port.
One of them is said to be unwell and on a drip at DSPCA headquarters.
Custom officials, assisted by Department of Agriculture, found the animals yesterday being transported in an unapproved vehicle with very poor ventilation, and had no accompanying paper work.
The Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney confirmed that his own officials and customs officers had been engaged in joint operation in recent times at ports - with a view to stamping out this illegal trade.
"I would like to thank custom officials and my own officials for their efforts in bring about this seizure", Mr Coveney said.
He also thanked the DSPCA for their assistance in taking care of the seized animals.
Minister Coveney added that European Union rules regulating movement of dogs and pups must be adhered to in all circumstances.
Pups and dogs exiting the country must be accompanied by a pet passport to show that they are identified by a microchip and are immunised against rabies.
Dogs being moved out of the country for sale or change of ownership must be accompanied by an official health certificate showing they come from a holding or business registered with the department - and that these holdings are not subject to any movement ban on animal health grounds.