PAWS for Thought is a multi-agency initiative involving council’s animal welfare officers, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) portal staff and the PSNI at the Port of Larne.
The operation focuses on the welfare of animals, with council officers seizing 10 pups during April’s incident. In addition, officers executed three warrants at properties connected with the transporter, gathering information and progressing lines of enquiry for offences under the Welfare Of Animals Act NI 2011.
A council spokesperson 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.
“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.”
Anyone with specific information of an illegal breeding establishment or where there are animal welfare concerns is asked to to contact council on 028 25 633 134.
For more about the PAWS for Thought Operation or if you are thinking of buying a pup visit: https://www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/buyingapuppy