MORE than 200 animals have been rescued from a site near Pembroke Dock connected with an alleged illegal slaughterhouse.

In a two-day operation, involving multiple agencies including police, Pembrokeshire County Council, and animal welfare groups, 215 animals have been rescued from the Ferry Lane site.

Activities started on January 29, when some 50 dogs were rescued, with Dogs Trust vans, including a dog ambulance, arriving on the site, along with other agencies.

The dog's rescue to 'secure the safety and welfare' of animals, followed an earlier investigation into an alleged illegal slaughterhouse on the site, and the production of ‘smokies,’ an illegal processed sheep product.

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council stated: “The council is able to confirm the completion of a successful two-day operation to take possession of livestock and other animals from a location in the Ferry Lane area of Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, in response to concerns regarding their welfare.

“In total 53 pigs, 80 sheep, three goats, 58 dogs, 20 horses and one donkey were removed from site and these have now been taken to safe locations pending further proceedings.

“Because of its scale and complexity the rescue operation was planned several days in advance.”

Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Regulatory Services, Cllr Pat Davies, expressed her gratitude for the efforts of all those involved in supporting the Council’s Animal Health and Welfare Team in the face of some challenging circumstances.

Said Councillor Davies: “We are very grateful for the support throughout the operation from officers from Dyfed-Powys Police (including the Rural Crime Team), along with the colleagues from the Animal and Plant Health Agency, private veterinary practices, Dogs Trust, RSPCA Cymru, World Horse Welfare and others, without whom the operation would not have been possible.”

The operation follows two arrests last week in connection with the illegal slaughter of animals and the production of ‘smokies’.

Investigations into activities on site remain ongoing by teams from the county council’s Public Protection service.

The arrested men have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “RSPCA Cymru can confirm we attended an address in Pembroke Dock on the request of Pembrokeshire County Council where 21 horses have been removed.

"The RSPCA along with World Horse Welfare provided their expertise and assistance. “The local authority’s animal health and welfare team have been the lead agency on this, and we are unable to comment further.”

All the dogs taken into possession during the rescue operation have been scanned for the presence of a microchip. 

For those dogs where a microchip is present, officers will confirm the registered owner. In the event that any dog appears to belong to persons not associated with the site, officers will get in touch.

While some dogs will not have been chipped, these were typically juvenile animals bred on site.

Reports of yesterday’s dog rescues may be seen here and here.

A report of the smokies investigation, with upsetting images, may be seen here.