Tuesday 16 July 2024
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Nottinghamshire couple guilty of unlicensed dog breeding

A Nottinghamshire couple have been fined £581 and ordered to pay costs for breeding and selling puppies without a licence, following an investigation by Bassetlaw District Council.

At Mansfield Magistrates Court on 8 June 2023, Gavin and Claire Oxley-Bryan were found guilty of running a business by selling puppies from their home, which is a licensable activity under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

The pair pleaded guilty to breeding and selling six litters of cockapoo puppies between January 2019 and July 2022, which they claimed made them approximately £6,000 in profits.

As a result, the Court ordered Mr and Mrs Oxley-Bryan of Claters Close, Retford, to pay fines totalling £581, in addition to costs of £2,435, as well as a £78 victim surcharge.

Cllr Alan Rhodes, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Financial Services, said; “It’s important that those breeding and selling dogs hold the correct licences so that we can ensure the safety and welfare of the animals but also protect the customers purchasing the animals.

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“Our officers did the right thing by investigating this further and we hope that the outcomes of this case sends the message that this sort of activity will not be tolerated.”

Council officers initially attended the property to address a noise complaint, which involved dogs barking loudly. During this visit, the officer found a number of commercial grade kennels that had not had prior consent or approval from the council.

Mr Oxley-Bryan initially denied breeding dogs at the property. However, the council worked with website providers that specialise in the buying and selling of animals and found numerous posts, advertising puppies for sale, in the name of the couple.

In mitigation, Mr and Mrs Oxley-Bryan claimed that they were breeding as a hobby and were not aware that this activity required a licence, due to the amount of profit generated classifying it as a business.

Commercial dog breeding requires an Animal Activity Licence, which protects the animal and consumers by ensuring that the dogs are:

  • kept in suitable accommodation
  • provided with adequate food, drink and bedding
  • exercised regularly
  • transported in safe and comfortable conditions
  • protected in case of an emergency, like a fire
  • protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease

A breeding licence is required for anyone breeding three or more litters in a 12-month period and/or anyone that breeds dogs and advertises a business of selling dogs.

Licence holders must also display their licence on any advertisements and on their premises as well as keep any records such as registrations of dogs and puppies, which can be by the council at any time.

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