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Dublin: 17°C Tuesday 22 June 2021
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Ducklings costing €5 being sold to children by 'opportunistic' sellers who steal animals from Dublin canals

The DSPCA has urged people not to buy the ducklings.

Image: Sam Boal

THE DSPCA HAS urged the public not to purchase ducklings after it emerged they are being offered on the streets of Dublin for as little as €5. 

The DSPCA has so far taken in 25 of the young ducklings in the last 24 hours. The charity has received reports teenagers are being offered the animals for sale by “opportunistic sellers”.

Gillian Bird, head of education for the charity, told The Journal that both wild and farmyard ducklings are being sold. Some sellers are “literally scooping these ducklings from the water and selling them on”, Bird said.

She urged parents and teenagers to not be drawn in by this and to say no if they are approached on the streets and asked to buy a duckling. 

“Reports started coming in yesterday evening and then much more this morning. We’ve been told people are being stopped in the street and asked if they want to buy a little duckling. We have 25 coming into us so far.

“We have also been told of young teenagers coming home with the duckling having been approached by strangers,” Bird said.

She added that there is “some talk” that the interest in ducklings has been sparked by a TikTok trend. 

Bird explained that these wild ducklings will not survive unless rehabilitated as it won’t know how to survive if and when it is released back into the wild. 

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“You can see that people might think, ‘ok, we can release it back into the wild when it’s an adult’ but the thing is that these ducks won’t survive because they have been scooped out of a canal and sold and haven’t had enough time to learn how to get food.” 

Another issue for the DSPCA is that the animals are being sold singly and not in groups. This poses a problem for the animals as they are “very social”.

“Normally they have their nestmates, their siblings there with them. It is not a wise idea to separate them.

“The message from us is to steer clear of these animals and say no to anyone who approaches you,” Bird added. 

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