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Linton woman fined for unlicensed dog breeding after guilty plea Published Date: 06/06/2024

Derby Magistrates’ Court has fined Ms. Alana Hesketh of Linton, South Derbyshire for offences relating to unlicensed dog breeding which is in breach of Section 13 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Ms. Hesketh pleaded guilty to the charges, resulting from an investigation led by the Council’s Licensing Authority and Environmental Health Department.

The case originated from a complaint received on July 8, 2021, regarding unlicensed dog breeding at Ms. Hesketh's residence. Subsequent investigations confirmed multiple litters had been advertised and sold without the proper licensing. Despite receiving a warning and advisory letter on August 6, 2021, Ms. Hesketh continued her breeding activities.

On May 25, 2022, a warrant was executed at Ms. Hesketh's property, revealing 29 dogs, including several puppies, in conditions that raised welfare concerns. The attending veterinary surgeon noted issues with hygiene and space, highlighting the long-term welfare risks for the animals.

Despite further communications and attempts to interview Ms. Hesketh under caution, she continued her unlicensed breeding operations. Evidence collected from various websites confirmed the sale of multiple litters bred at her address.

"The welfare of animals is a priority, and unlicensed breeding operations pose serious risks," stated a Council spokesperson. "This case underscores the importance of adhering to licensing regulations to ensure the health and safety of animals and the public."

Ms. Hesketh received a fine and costs totalling £5,280 and the Council is urging all breeders to comply with licensing requirements to avoid legal action and ensure the welfare of their animals.

Anyone who breeds three or more litters in a 12-month period and/or anyone that breeds dogs and advertises a business of selling dogs must be licensed with the local authority. This enables officers to help ensure that welfare conditions in breeding establishments are properly managed.