On 16 October 2020, at Swansea Magistrates Court a verdict was delivered concerning the appeal against the refusal to renew a dog breeding license to David Jones, and Eleri Jones both of Penwern Capel Dewi, Llandysul. This was following a 2 day hearing held at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on the 1 – 2 October 2020.
The Court heard how Ceredigion County Council Officers had tried to work with the dog breeding establishment to improve standards, however after several chances they had failed to meet the minimum standards expect to ensure the welfare of the animals. The visits found Mr. and Mrs Jones being unable to produce any dog breeding records, and had not arranged annual Veterinary health checks. When checks were undertaken by their own Vets they found a number of inherited conditions on the dogs, and that the animals should not be bred from. A further Vet report from May 2019 found dogs suffering from matted feet and ears, lice, interdigital cysts, and anxiousness in the golden retrievers.
The Animal Welfare officers from the Local Authority Public Protection Team worked hard to deal with the identified issues, and reduced the number of the dogs at the premises from 86 to 40 on a limited 3 month license to improve standards. However, in a visit on 12 November 2019 the Animal Welfare Officers along with a Veterinarian found the standards had not improved sufficiently. The breeding records continued to be very poor, meaning that breeding management could not be assessed, leading to a risk of underage breeding and repeat breeding in the same year. There was no evidence of vaccination for the adult dogs, or any socialisation of the puppies being produced. A retriever with 3 week puppies had no heating with the recorded air temperature at 9⁰C, and there was a number of undocumented dogs with no microchips.
The Judge in his summing up specified that although the Local Authority provide advice and assistance, it does not distract from the fact that it is the dog breeders themselves that have responsibility to comply with the conditions on their license. He accepted that there had been improvements at the premises but felt that these would be short lived, and they had not fully committed resources to the venture, and this would severely compromise animal welfare.
The District Judge dismissed the appeal and supported the decision of the Local Authority in not renewing the dog breeding license. He also awarded costs to the Local Authority of £4000.