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DSPCA investigating after 12 greyhounds found in back of van going to Spain

The dogs were seized by Revenue over the weekend.

The back of the van transporting the greyhounds.
The back of the van transporting the greyhounds.
Image: DSPCA

INVESTIGATIONS ARE ONGOING into an incident where 12 greyhounds were found by Revenue officials in poor travelling conditions at Dublin Port over the weekend. 

The dogs were being transported from Tipperary in a Spanish registered vehicle in cramped conditions with cages and crates stacked on top of each other. 

Six of the dogs could not have been accessed without moving the boxes and crates in the van, said head of education and media at Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) Gillian Bird, speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. 

“[This] meant there was absolutely no way on their journey from Tipperary to Spain that they could actually have been fed or watered or taken out for exercise,” said Bird. 

All Revenue seizures of animals are referred immediately to the DSPCA or the ISPCA. The DSPCA is investigating this incident.

The van was stopped by Revenue officials at Dublin Port and the 12 dogs were found in the back. They had Irish pet licences, but the van had no licence to transport them. 

Ten of the dogs had muzzles, which would have further prevented them from eating or drinking during the journey.  

“Greyhounds are also very big dogs and though the crates were a reasonable size, they would not have given the animals enough space to properly stretch out, lie down,” said Bird. 

photo4 One of the dogs in the back of the van. Source: DSPCA

The dogs were picked up from Tipperary and registered to different counties including Cork, Kerry and Wexford. 

“Basically, what happens is that dogs get sold on. They can be used for racing in Spain but also one of the dogs hadn’t raced since 2016,” she said. 

A further nine of the dogs had raced in the last month and two had no record of ever racing. 

“It’s really the welfare of the animals that concerned us in the transportation apart from anything else,” said Bird. 

The dogs are currently in the care of the DSPCA. 

“Working greyhounds can be quite difficult to re-home but we will do our best and while they’re in our care, they’ll receive the best treatment,” she said. 

The DSPCA said yesterday it is appalled by the “barbaric treatment of these animals despite the revelations seen in RTE’s Primetime programme Greyhounds Running for their Lives and the assurances given by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) since the programme that measures were being taken to address animal welfare issues in their industry”.

The RTÉ Prime Time Investigates programme claimed that the greyhound industry is breeding 1,000% more puppies than it needs, leading to a cull of thousands of racing dogs every year. 

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