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Dog trafficking “will not be tolerated,” minister warns
Pupppy behind bars
More than 700 vehicles were checked by DEARA’s portal inspectors and council animal welfare officers.
Over 30 puppies seized in Belfast operation

Northern Ireland’s agriculture minister, Michelle Mcllveen, has warned that illegal movements of dogs through the country’s ports “will not be tolerated”.

Her call follows an operation between the Department of Agriculture (DAERA), Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Belfast City Council, which led to over 30 puppies being prevented from travelling to Great Britain illegally.

“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,” she said.

Launched before Christmas, the operation at Larne and Belfast Ports came after concerns were raised about the potential illegal movements of commercial consignments of dogs.

The initiative focussed on the welfare of animals during transportation, the identification of animals and the licensing and registration of dog breeding establishments.

In total, more than 700 vehicles were checked by DEARA’s portal inspectors and council animal welfare officers. This resulted in more than 30 pups being either prevented from travelling or surrendered at the ports.

Miss Mcllveen said that information gathered by her team will be shared with enforcement bodies in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland to provide ongoing intelligence and to tackle the illegal trade in puppies.

“Legislation alone will not stop illegal puppy farming. This will take a concerted effort by members of the public and enforcement agencies working together to identify breeders who put financial gain before the welfare needs of their dogs and pups,” she said.

“I would encourage anyone with specific evidence of an illegal breeding establishment to provide this to councils to allow enforcement action to be taken.”  

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Laura Muir wins gold at Commonwealth Games

News Story 1
 Veterinary surgeon and Olympic silver-medalist Laura Muir scooped the gold medal in the 1500m final Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Winning Scotland's 12th title of the games, Muir finished in four minutes 2.75 seconds, collecting her second medal in 24 hours.

Dr Muir commented on her win: "I just thought my strength is in my kick and I just tried to trust it and hope nobody would catch me. I ran as hard as I could to the line.

"It is so nice to come here and not just get one medal but two and in such a competitive field. Those girls are fast. It means a lot." 

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News Shorts
Views sought on NOAH Compendium

Users of the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium app and website are being asked to share their views on how it can be improved.

In a new survey, users are asked about some suggested future developments, such as notifications for new and updated datasheets, sharing links to datasheets, and enhanced search functionality.

It comes after NOAH ceased publication of the NOAH Compendium book as part of its sustainability and environmental commitments. The website and the app will now be the main routes to access datasheets and view any changes.