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Forest of Dean District Council (FODDC) has prosecuted an individual for offences relating to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
A former Forest of Dean resident has pleaded guilty to offences of animal cruelty at a court hearing on the 6th of February - For failing to ensure the welfare of dogs in her care and for unnecessary suffering caused to dogs also in her care.
Appearing at Cheltenham Magistrates court today the 27th of March, Margaret Davies formerly of Blakeney was sentenced for these offences.
Davies received a 36 week sentence, suspended for 18 months, has been ordered to obey a curfew between 7pm and 6am and wear an electronic tag for the next 12 weeks. She was also given a disqualification from keeping dogs indefinitely.
Full costs were awarded to the Council and the defendant was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £156.
The prosecution was brought by the Forest of Dean District Council’s Street Warden Team with the assistance of the Counter Fraud and Enforcement Unit (CFEU), after receiving information from Naturewatch.org. Further investigations were carried out by the CFEU to verify the information received. A warrant obtained by the Council for the home address of Margaret Davies was executed on the 1st of July 2021, by the Street Warden Team and the CFEU with the assistance of Pc Cath McDay from the Rural Crime Team at Gloucestershire Constabulary.
The conditions on site were distressing. Numerous dogs were found in dark, filthy and pest infested conditions. A majority of the dogs were found in two barns on the land with faeces building up in the pens and some of the dogs had little daylight and limited drinking water.
In total 33 dogs were removed, 6 of those dogs were signed over by Mrs Davies and 27 were seized from the property by the Council, including two litters of puppies. Two puppies from these litters died shortly after in a local vet practice. The rescued dogs all went on to be fostered by local volunteers and the Forest of Dean Dog Rescue based in the Forest of Dean. The dogs have since been rehomed by the charity and the Council.
Community Safety Lead at Forest of Dean District Council, Damion Collins said:
“We must do all we can to prevent animals being subjected to such suffering and I would like to thank everyone involved in investigating this case, and bringing this successful prosecution."
“No animal should have to suffer. Whoever is looking after an animal has the responsibility to ensure the animal is protected, kept free from pain and nurtured in a safe environment.
If you have any welfare concerns for animals that you are aware of, please do not hesitate to contact our street warden team at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Pc McDay of Gloucestershire Police commented:
“This has been a great example of how our two agencies can work together to address concerns raised about animal welfare.
“Gloucestershire Constabulary takes this issue seriously and we have a proactive approach to dealing with any crimes against animals.
“I would urge anyone with concerns to continue to report them so they can be fully investigated.”