Somerset

Dog breeder Rachel Mortimore's lifetime animal ban cut

The dog
Image caption A dog Mortimore was caring for was found to have a hole in its face due to an untreated abscess

A Somerset dog breeder has had a lifetime ban on keeping animals reduced on appeal.

Crufts medal-winning Rachel Mortimore, 57, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at a hearing in July.

They related to a cat and a dog which were among 300 animals found in squalid conditions at Culmhead's Foxdown Dog Training Centre in November.

Mortimore's ban was reduced to 18 years at Taunton Crown Court.

When the RSPCA and Avon and Somerset Police officers raided the site, the dog was found with a hole in the side of its face due to an infected abscess in its mouth that had been left untreated.

Suffering 'unbelievable'

The cat had an ulcer on its eye that would have "popped" the eye if left untreated.

At the time, an RSPCA inspector described the suffering as "unbelievable".

Recorder Michael Parroy QC said that it was clear that Mortimore had far too many animals on the premises to be able to give them proper care.

But he added that although magistrates at the previous hearing had been right to ban her from keeping animals in "lamentable" conditions, their imposition of a lifetime ban was unduly harsh.

Mortimore will be allowed to apply to have the ban lifted in nine years.

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