Mobs are laundering money through Ireland's puppy farms

Mobs are laundering money through Ireland's puppy farms

Criminals in Ireland are being investigated for laundering money through Ireland’s puppy farming industry.

It is estimated 100,000 puppies – many born in factory-style farms – are bred in Ireland every year and sold largely in Scotland and England for sums of up to €3,500 in the case of the most sought-after French bulldog pups.

The Head of the Special Investigations Unit for the Scottish SPCA sees the dark side of the puppies trafficked from Ireland to Scotland on the ferry to Cairnryan every year.

The inspector said the sight of four dumped bodies of Irish puppies last year a few miles from the ferry was just one of many cases of animal cruelty at the hands of traffickers.

“There was four of them just lying at the side of the layby as if you would throw away some sort of pizza box,” said the officer, who can’t be identified due to his undercover operations.

The tiny pups had all died of parvovirus, a disease commonly seen in unvaccinated pups taken from their mother too soon.

He said the trade is so lucrative that it is now attracting criminals who are laundering money through purported dog dealing businesses in Scotland and Ireland.

“People are moving into dog dealing to launder the profits of criminality. They say they are getting the profits from dog dealing,” he said.

“We’ve seen puppies in the last three weeks at Cairnryan that we suspect have come in from southern Ireland.”

He added that the Irish authorities need to stop handing out licences for industrial puppy farms

He said: “People are given licences for huge numbers of dogs, 500, 600, 700 up to 1000 dogs. The biggest in Scotland is 40 bitches. Irish councils need to look at their system.”