After a consignment of dogs and pups were seized by the Department of Agriculture last week, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has called for the illegal puppy trade to stop.

The dogs and pups were in the process of being illegally exported to the UK earlier this week and were being transported in an unapproved vehicle and had no accompanying paper work.

“The seizure of this consignment should send a clear message to the minority involved in this type of illegal trade that this activity will not be tolerated and that controls are being stepped up with a view to stamping out the illegal trade in dogs and pups,” he said.

Minister Coveney added that European Union rules regulating movement of dogs and pups must be adhered to in all circumstances.

The Minister noted that all 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 that 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.

Furthermore, registered export premises must undertake to have the dogs regularly examined by their veterinary practitioner and must ensure that animal welfare requirements are met.

The dogs must also undergo a clinical veterinary examination within 48 hours of departure, to confirm that they show no signs of diseases and are fit to be transported for the intended journey.

The vehicle being used for the transport must also be approved by the Department.

“I would like to thank my Department officials involved in the seizure and the Wexford SPCA for their assistance in taking care of the seized animals.

“This cooperation was critical in ensuring the safety and welfare of the dogs and pups,” he said.