A man who was taken to court by Plymouth City Council for illegally breeding dogs – which cost him his profits – has revealed that the council has now granted him a dog breeding license.
In March, Plymouth City Council sought to ban Michael Dawson, 49, from selling dogs or being in a business that breeds or sells them. He sold dogs on Facebook and Instagram without a license.
However, recorder David Chidgey, at Plymouth Crown Court, rejected the authority’s offer saying there was “no evidence to suggest” Dawson mistreated “any animal at any time” .
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Dowson had pleaded guilty to the single charge under the Unlicensed Dog Breeding Animal Protection Act between September 30, 2018 and January 18, 2020.
The court learned in March that Dawson had run his business for 15 to 20 years, but had violated the new regulations as of 2018.
The council said that over a 16-month period, investigators found evidence that Dawson had bred “some 22 identified litters of dogs” and that there was evidence that there was “probably more of staves “.
Prosecutors said Dawson claimed he sold his dogs around the world, including to American celebrities.
As a result, the council said it would seek to recoup any profits Dawson made in those 18 months under the Proceeds of Crime Act – legislation typically used in cases involving drug traffickers and fraudsters. The court heard that Dawson had earned around £ 64,000 in 16 months selling puppies up to £ 2,500.
At the March court hearing, council attorney Gregory Gordon said the authority would use a “fit and suitable person” test on Dawson when applying for a license.
However, he alerted the court that Dawson had three convictions for himself and his businesses involving dogs.
In November last year, Dawson and his company Element Bullys were fined after a search warrant was executed by Defra who found illegal veterinary drugs. Dawson was fined £ 265 and costs £ 85 and a victim surcharge of £ 30, while Element Bullys Ltd was fined £ 1,500, plus a victim surcharge of £ 150.
Dawson was fined for allowing a puppy in his care to have his ears cut off in February.
He was caught with an American pocket bully type slut during a raid by police and other agencies on his home.
The beige and white dog, called Riot, was found in a crate in the garden with its ears cut off, Plymouth magistrates heard.
The dog was seized by the RSPCA and has since been relocated, the court heard.
Dawson pleaded guilty to allowing another person to perform a prohibited procedure or failing to protect a protected animal in June 2019. He was fined £ 1,000 and a victim fine surcharge of £ 100, but was not banned from keeping animals because he said breeding dogs were his only source of income.
Mr Dawson recently contacted PlymouthLive to reveal that Plymouth City Council has now granted him a dog breeding license, saying it happened after the authority “lost” his first application.
He explained that his business was doing exceptionally well and that he often found himself unable to meet the demand for puppies. He said he was unable to comment further at this time as he was also “very busy looking after my real estate portfolio”.
A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said: ‘Licenses for breeding animals are in place so that breeders, as well as those who sell animals, maintain a high standard of animal welfare and provide public peace of mind when buying a pet.
“It’s all about regulation, which is why we prosecute unlicensed breeders. We want to make sure all breeders are regulated so that we can monitor welfare standards. Chasing someone doesn’t have to be. an obstacle to obtaining a license as we hope to be able to work with them to ensure that their activities meet the required standards.
“When granting a license to breed dogs, we take into account the tests described in the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations (England) 2018. These include visits, inspections and in-depth evaluations by officers of the Council and by an independent veterinarian.
“When these tests are completed to the required standard, then we are required to issue a license.
“The convictions are taken into account (including, where applicable, the facts found by the court and any comments on the sentence) but the emphasis is on whether we are satisfied that the person will now be able to to fulfill the license conditions, has resolved all previous issues and will ensure animal welfare is respected.
“It is only when the court makes an exclusion order against a person under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 that there will be a direct prohibition on that person from obtaining a license for the duration of the order.
“Anyone holding a dog breeding license is subject to unannounced inspections throughout the duration of their license to ensure that welfare standards are maintained. the license holder is false or misleading, the Council may suspend, modify or revoke the license.
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