Large number of puppies recovered in Larne port operation

A large number of pups have been seized by council officers combatting the illegal movement of dogs in Mid and East Antrim Borough.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 6:17 pm

They were recovered during four separate incidents in recent weeks as part of the ‘PAWS for Thought Operation’ involving council animal welfare officers, DAERA (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) portal staff and PSNI at the Port of Larne.

In addition, officers have stopped and checked a number of other vehicles, gathering information and progressing lines of enquiry around the origin of pups.

The Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston, 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.

Officers have seized a large number of pups in recent weeks.

“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.

“I would encourage anyone with specific information of an illegal breeding establishment or indeed where there are animal welfare concerns to contact council on 028 25 633 134.”

To find out more about the PAWS for Thought Operation or if you are thinking of buying a puppy, visit the council’s website on

Appeal for the public to help in the fight against the illegal movement of dogs.


Click here to read: Puppy love as mayor praises rescue operation


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Agencies are working to ensure the welfare of animals is protected.