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DSPCA appeals to farmers not to sell ducklings wholesale to 'opportunistic buyers'

The charity has urged farmers to stop selling ducklings to the buyers, who are selling them on individually.

THE DSPCA HAS urged farmers to stop selling wholesale quantities of ducklings to opportunistic buyers who are selling them on individually. 

Yesterday, The Journal reported how the duckling trade had shot up in popularity after videos featuring the small fowl started trending on social media platform TikTok. 

It’s emerged that farmers are believed to be selling the ducklings wholesale to people who are selling them on in the street. For example, a farmer might sell 100 ducklings to someone who will then sell them on for €5 each.

One farmer is believed to have supplied someone with hundreds of ducklings in the greater Dublin area, according to the animal rights charity.

The DSPCA has described incidences of young people buying the ducklings for as little as €3. 

The charity’s own investigators are working to discover who is behind the practice of selling the ducklings on the streets. 

There have also been reports of people taking wild ducklings from the water in a bid to sell them for €5 each. This is illegal under the protection of wildlife legislation.

While the practice of selling the farmyard ducklings is legal, the DSPCA has concerns that if the ducklings are sold on individually to teenagers, they may end up being neglected.

The DSPCA has so far taken in over 25 of the young ducklings. The charity has received reports teenagers are being offered the animals for sale by “opportunistic sellers”.

Gillian Bird, head of education for the DSPCA, urged farmers to stop supplying the fowl to those they suspect may be selling them on in this manner. 

“We have been inundated with people sending us links to people selling online as well as sending us links of people on TikTok or people saying they can sell them cheap. 

“We are also conscious of the wholesalers. We’re asking them to be careful about to who they are selling large quantities of these animals to.”

Clondalkin Animal Aid reported similar stories. 

A spokeswoman for the centre said that one duckling had been brought in to them this morning. 

“The ducklings being surrendered are either being found by people or there are people who see young people with them and go over and offer them a few quid to take the animal and then surrender it. We also keep hearing about TikTok and other social media sites,” she said.

A quick look at TikTok shows how videos involving ducks have been viewed hundreds of millions of times. The apparent fad is an international trend.

There are others who are buying duck eggs and hatching them in their homes. These videos have also been shared online. 

The DSPCA yesterday warned that wild ducklings will not survive unless rehabilitated as they won’t know how to survive if and when they are released back into the wild. 

Farmyard ducklings also need care. 

“They need the right heat and the right care to adjust properly. If you have someone who says they’ll look after the duckling until it’s grown and and then intends on releasing it into the wild, the message is that this duck will not survive,” Bird said. 

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