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Prosecution of illegal cattery Published Date: 14/05/2023

Wealden District Council has prosecuted a Heathfield woman for running an illegal cattery. Mrs Mandy Papps, of 39 Swaines Way Heathfield pleaded guilty to Hastings Magistrates Court, admitting to running a cattery business at her home without a licence from Wealden District Council.  

Mrs Papps’ representative told the court that she had operated the business for a significant time and that whilst this was an offence, morally, she had done a lovely thing and asked for an absolute discharge. Despite an earlier request from the court, Mrs Papps did not provide her business accounts.

The Magistrates issued an order disqualifying her from carrying on a cattery business for five years. The Magistrates said that her action had been deliberate. It was clear a business was being run which required a licence.  A fine of £13,080 was made. A victim surcharge of £190 was also applied and full costs of £1072 were awarded to the council.

Chris Bending, Director of Place for Wealden Council said “We are pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of this offence. The licensing scheme exists to ensure that modern welfare standards are in place in all catteries for the safety and wellbeing of cats. Catteries that have applied for a licence since the introduction of the 2018 regulations and improved their conditions to comply with the new standards should not be penalised by operators who failed to apply, despite frequent reminders to do so”.