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100 ducklings rehomed by charity after short-lived social media trend

People earlier this month were urged not to buy ducklings being sold for as low as €5 each.

Ducklings taken in by the DSPCA.
Ducklings taken in by the DSPCA.
Image: DSPCA

ALMOST 100 DUCKLINGS have been rehomed by the DSPCA following a short-lived online trend which led to them being sold to people for as little as €5. 

It was reported earlier this month that ducklings were being offered on the streets of Dublin for a low cost after videos started trending on social media platforms like TikTok.

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) has taken in nearly 100 ducklings since the trend emerged.

A small number of these ducklings were injured and died shortly after arriving at the charity. 

Speaking to The Journal, the charity’s head of education Gillian Bird said there has been a “massive decrease” in the social media footage being shared about the ducklings since the issue was first reported. 

“We’re still getting ducklings in but nowhere near as many now. Maybe two or three a day,” she said. 

“We’re not getting the tiny ducklings now – we’re getting ones that are slightly older. They look like ones that would have been bought by people at the height of the trend.

“We’ll probably keep getting them in dribs and drabs over the next couple of weeks.”

The DSPCA started a rehoming campaign last week for the ducklings, and they have all been rehomed at this stage. 

20210511_112451 Ducklings. Source: DSPCA

She said the charity looked for people who “ideally have experience to care for them already”. They have been rehomed mostly as farm pets or egg hatchers.

The practice of selling farmyard ducklings is legal, but the DSPCA had concerns about the ducklings being sold on individually. 

Bird said the farming community “very much jumped on board” to help out with “calls for people to stop selling” the ducklings. 

The charity had urged farmers to stop selling wholesale quantities of ducklings to buyers selling them on individually.

The DSPCA is holding long-term investigations into the individual sale of the ducklings.

“It was really one or two people who started the trend on social media and from there it sort of exploded,” Bird said. 

“We would ask people to be cautious and aware that it’s so easy to set up an inappropriate trend.” 

Bird said there have been reports of ducklings given in to charities in Cork, but the issue has mostly impacted Dublin. 

“During their care in the DSPCA, they basically lived in a community of ducklings of roughly the same age,” she said. 

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“We did take in some that were injured. A few of them died on us within the first couple of days of arriving.”

She added that most of the ducklings were fine when they arrived at the charity, just “a little bit shocked”. 

“We hope there won’t be any long-term effects for the majority of these ducklings.

“Our general advice to anybody out there is please don’t buy things that are being offered unless you can guarantee you can take care of it for life,” Bird said. 

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