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An unlicensed dog breeder from west Norfolk was prosecuted in court on Wednesday 28 September 2022.
Tina Manning of Crimplesham pleaded guilty and has been fined £4,000, plus £400 victim surcharge and costs of £5,986.21. A total of £10,386.21 is to be paid.
Norfolk Police Officers assisted the borough council with carrying out a search warrant last December.
Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, Leader of the borough council, said:
"Let this be a reminder to people who breed dogs without a licence that we are serious about animal welfare. If you do not operate by the rules, we will investigate and we will prosecute.”
“I urge residents planning to buy a puppy or kitten from a breeder to ask to see the breeder’s licence and meet the animal’s mum. Alternatively you might want to consider giving a loving home to an older pet by contacting one of the many reputable charities and animal refuges we have operating in our area.”
PC Chris Shelley, from the Community Safety Operational Unit - OP Randall Rural Crime Officer at Norfolk Police, added:
“We’re committed to working with all partners to tackle criminality and try to ensure Norfolk has the highest standards of animal welfare.”
The borough council has an online guide to buying a pet, which provides tips for checking that your new puppy or kitten has had the best start to their life. There is also a list of local licensed breeders, so people can check their credentials.
The licence number should be displayed on any advert, web page or facebook page. New guidance on buying a pet can be found at www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/buyingapet. It’s a guide to protect people’s new puppy, keep their kitten safe and healthy, as well as advice on small mammals, bird, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 were brought in to improve animal welfare.
Selling animals as pets, dog breeding, providing boarding for cats or dogs (this includes home boarding), training animals for exhibition and hiring horses are all included in the regulations.
A person requires a licence for dog breeding if they breed dogs and are advertising a business of selling dogs, making over £1,000 in a 12 month period. Further information is available on the borough council website.
Buying dogs from a licensed breeder ensures that the dogs are properly looked after. To obtain a licence, the breeder and dogs are regularly inspected, and the breeder must comply with set welfare standards.
When a license is issued, a star rating is given based on welfare standards found at the time of the inspection. The star rating system is a national system to provide customers with information about the animal establishments.