Unlicensed breeder fined and banned from selling dogs
An illegal dog breeder was fined and banned from selling dogs for two years following a successful prosecution by Swindon Borough Council.
Published: Tuesday, 4th July 2023
Kimberley Barton pleaded guilty to breeding and selling four litters of puppies from 1 January 2022 to 1 January 2023 without a licence contrary to section 13 (6) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Friday (30 June). The 58-year-old, of Melfort Close, Sparcells, was fined £120 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £48, plus costs of £600, which magistrates pointed out was roughly the cost of a dog breeding licence. She was also made subject to a prohibition order preventing her from dealing in dogs for a minimum of two years. The court heard how Ms Barton sold the puppies for around £2,000 each and would have been aware of the legislation surrounding the breeding of dogs as she is involved in dog shows. Magistrates were told that the breeding operation was complex with sperm being imported from the USA. Ms Barton advertised puppies for sale and entered into formal sales agreements with clients. The Council’s solicitor, Daryl Bigwood, told the court that the local authority had received complaints that some of the puppies were not adequately socially adjusted and some had to be returned. The Council received complaints of Ms Barton refusing to provide refunds when puppies had been returned, while also refusing to refund deposits for puppies that were not available as advertised. Mr Bigwood added that there was evidence Ms Barton had bred at least a further 18 puppies since becoming aware of the investigation, which showed an “ongoing and flagrant disregard for the law”. The prosecution was brought against Ms Barton following a complex investigation supported by both Wiltshire Police and the RSPCA. Councillor Kevin Small, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Licensing, said: “The regulations for breeding dogs are in place to protect the animals first and foremost, but also the people who are buying them. “I’d like to thank our Animal Welfare team for their diligence in bringing this prosecution forward, but also our partners in Wiltshire Police and the RSPCA who helped us with the investigation. “We take cases involving animal welfare extremely seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if we have enough evidence. If you are unsure about whether a dog breeder is licensed please visit our website, where we list any licensed dog breeding establishments in Swindon.” Swindon Borough Council news RSS feed