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Man who ran dog breeding business illegally for 16 months granted dog breeding licence Published Date: 26/10/2021

Plymouth Live reported that in March Plymouth City Council sought to ban Michael Dawson, aged 49, from selling dogs or being in any business which bred or sold them. He sold dogs over Facebook and Instagram without a licence.

However, Recorder David Chidgey, at Plymouth Crown Court, rejected the authority's bid saying there was "no evidence to suggest" that Dawson, had mistreated "any animal at any time".

Dowson had pleaded guilty to the single charge under the Animal Welfare Act of breeding dogs without a licence between September 30, 2018 and January 18, 2020.

The court heard in March that Dawson had run his business for 15 to 20 years but had fallen foul of the new regulations starting in 2018. 

As a result, the council said it would seek to retrieve the profit Dawson had made during those 18 months under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

In November last year Dawson and his company Element Bullys were fined after a search warrant was executed by Defra who found illegal veterinary medicines. Dawson was fined £265 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge while Element Bullys Ltd was fined £1500, plus £150 victim surcharge.

Dawson was fined for allowing a puppy under his care to have her ears cut off in February.

He was caught with an American pocket bully-type bitch in a raid by police and other agencies at his home.

The tan and white dog, called Riot, was found in a crate in the garden with cropped ears, Plymouth magistrates heard.

Mr Dawson recently contacted Plymouth Live to reveal that Plymouth City Council has now granted him a dog breeding licence, claiming that this took place after the authority "lost" his first application.

He explained that his business was doing exceptionally well and he often found himself unable to keep up with the demand for puppies. He said he was unable to offer further comment at this time as he was also "very busy looking after my property portfolio".

A Plymouth City Council spokesman said: "Licensing for animal breeding is in place so that breeders, as well as those selling animals, maintain a high standard of animal welfare and give the public peace of mind when buying a pet.

"It’s all about regulation, which is why we prosecute unlicensed breeders. We want to ensure that all breeders are regulated so that we can monitor welfare standards. Prosecuting someone is not necessarily a bar to getting a licence as we hope we can work with them to ensure their activities come up to the required standards.

"When granting a licence to breed dogs, we consider the tests outlined in The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. These include visits, inspections and thorough assessments by Council officers and by an independent vet.