Puppies sold online are returned to Ireland after seizure at Scottish ferry port

Dogs had been transported from the Republic into Northern Ireland and then into Scotland

Puppies sold online are returned to Ireland after seizure at Scottish ferry port

Photo: DSPCA

A shipment of 20 puppies and a mother dog has been seized at a Scottish ferry port as part of a probe into the illegal trade of animals into the UK from Ireland.

The dogs - which include Pomeranians, Cavachons, Chihuahuas and small terriers - had been transported from the Republic into Northern Ireland and then into Scotland without vaccination records, microchips or compulsory pet passports.

They were rescued yesterday evening in Cairnryan and returned to Belfast, where they were cared for overnight by the Ulster SPCA.

The seizure was made under Operation Delphin, an investigation involving gardaí, customs officers, and animal protection groups in Ireland and Scotland.

The trader in this case was targeted following a review of online puppy selling in the UK and Ireland, according to the DSPCA. 

The charity said it intends to pursue a prosecution against the individual in question.

“We remind, yet again, the perpetrators of these crimes that they carry significant penalties including imprisonment,” a spokesperson said.

The dogs are now in its care and it is hoped that new homes can be found for them over the coming weeks.