Mid Wales

Illegal dog breeder's animal ban terms changed

Richard Jones

An illegal dog breeder from Ceredigion, who left puppies close to death, will be allowed to keep animals despite being given a court ban in February.

Richard Jones, 31, from Llanwnnen, near Lampeter, was convicted of two counts of illegal dog breeding and 21 counts of causing suffering to dogs.

He was given a four-year ban on keeping animals at Aberystwyth Justice Centre.

But he has now won an appeal and the ban will apply specifically to dealing in dogs which will run for six years.

Swansea Crown Court heard the initial ban was unworkable as he ran the family hill farm and needed to use sheepdogs to control 1,000 sheep.

Image copyright Ceredigion council

The appeal hearing was also told Jones and his sister ran the farm and their family's finances depended on it.

The appeal judge, Recorder Peter Griffiths QC, ruled that the terms of the ban should be changed to allow him to continue farming but to stop him running puppy farms.

"I reiterate that each member of the court was appalled by the conditions of the dogs," he said, adding that he believed the nine week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, had been "on the lenient side".

Ceredigion council had brought the prosecution after raids at two premises last June found 113 dogs and puppies suffering.

Image copyright Ceredigion council

Some of the dogs in Jones' care were kept in complete darkness, on their own, with advanced chronic skin conditions and showing signs of mental stress.

One puppy was so thin it was close to death, the court heard.

Others were suffering from gangrene and septicaemia while there was evidence that some dogs had eaten their own faeces.

The court was told Jones used to have a breeding licence but it was not renewed by the local authority in 2015 because of concerns.

The appeal hearing was told that since the raids, Jones' farm had passed inspections and the dogs he bred had since been rehomed.

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