Unlicenced dog breeder fined more than £10,000 at court
30 November 2022
An unlicenced dog breeder has been fined more than £10,000 at court following a successful prosecution from North Devon Council.
Tracey Boyles of Willow Rise, Witheridge, appeared at North Devon Magistrates Court on 18 November where she pleaded guilty to offences of breeding and advertising two litters of dogs without a licence, and advertising and selling two adult dogs as pets without a licence between 9 March 2022 and 26 June 2022.
Evidence was obtained showing Boyles was selling animals with a view to making a profit and earned significant fees from the activity. She sold 10 Golden Irish Labrador puppies for £1,200 each in March before selling an Irish Setter dog for £1,000 in April. May 2022 saw seven KC Golden Retriever cross Collie puppies sold for £1,000 each before a Clumber spaniel cross cocker spaniel dog was sold for £900.
Council licensing officers executed a warrant at Boyles' address in May 2022 and found various paraphernalia associated with breeding puppies and documentation which included invoices, receipts and letters from the council setting out the requirements for obtaining a licence.
The 34-year-old was given a fine totalling £10,190, which included £4,000 for each offence, a victim surcharge of £190 and £2,000 in costs.
The council is urging those considering purchasing pets to only do so from licenced and approved persons. Furthermore, anyone who is considering breeding and selling pets should contact the council's licensing team for advice before doing so.
Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: "This prosecution sends a clear message to those thinking of breeding animals without a licence, and the large fine reflects how seriously we take these offences.
"Our licensing regime exists to ensure the welfare of animals is catered for. As a council we have powers to obtain warrants and inspect properties in the company of a vet to ensure licensing requirements are being upheld, and we will take action where necessary.
"These offences came to light after concerns for the welfare of these dogs were raised by members of the public. I would urge anyone with similar concerns in their community to report them to us."
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018 set out the law for licensing and registration activities of animals.
The council has a page dedicated to Animal Licences, which provides information about the activities requiring an Animal Welfare Licence.