The Dublin Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals says it has been “inundated” with calls and inquiries from members of the public about teenagers and children buying ducklings from street sellers for as little as €5.
The charity said it took in 23 ducklings yesterday, with more expected to be brought in today. Head of education and media at the DSPCA Gillian Bird said: “We have been astonished at the completely unacceptable behaviour that’s gone on in the last day or so. “We have been taking ducklings in throughout the day and we obviously have several concerns. “Ducklings need a lot of expert care. They cannot survive in cold water without the oils from their mothers’ feathers and can die from hypothermia”.
“Three of the ducklings we took in are wild ducklings, not farmyard animals. We are afraid people might be just scooping them off the canal and selling them on. We have even heard reports of young teens carrying them on the Luas.”
Ms Bird said she was aware of other animal welfare charities which have taken in ducklings in the past few days. In a Facebook post, the DSPCA said: “If your children have bought ducklings, please call us and we will take them into our care. Please also tell your children not to buy any ducklings. Our inspectors have been investigating this matter and will continue to do so.”