A Llandeilo man who made nearly £34,000 out of dog breeding without a licence has been brought before the court in a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire County Council.
Matthew Thomas, of Green View, New Inn, admitted to Llanelli magistrates that he had been dog breeding without a licence despite being told not to on a number of occasions when he appeared recently.
The court heard that the 38-year-old had first contacted the council for advice about dog breeding and obtaining a licence back in 2018.
In a telephone call the following year animal health officers again advised that under the Dog Breeding Regulations only two litters of puppies within a 12-month period was allowed if no breeding licence is in place. Thomas disclosed he had three litters at his premises and was issued with a warning. The same month, whilst Thomas claimed he was carrying out the necessary requirements to obtain a breeding licence, he telephoned the council to inform them he had an accidental litter. He was warned that he needed to stop breeding and was told to separate dogs from bitches in season. In February last year Thomas contacted the council again and asked if he could breed a further two litters as he was short of money and was again informed he couldn’t due to him being unlicensed and that all new applications were on hold due to Covid-19 visiting restrictions. In July 2020 Thomas was sent a letter giving him four weeks to apply for a licence. An application was received in August of last year but no licence was granted as it was incomplete. A check of advertising sites showed that Thomas had listed four litters of whippets withing a 13-month period.
Thomas admitted breeding over the number of permitted litters but claimed it was due to him being dyslexic and not understanding the wording of the regulations. He stated that he wished to work with the council to become licensed and was trying to be open and transparent.
He was fined £500, ordered to pay £1,208 costs and £50 victim surcharge.
When questioned by the court about where the money he made had gone, Thomas claimed it had been put back into his premises.
The council’s executive board member for public protection and trading standards, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “Mr Thomas was given advice over and over again about dog breeding regulations and he totally ignored them and made a lot of money by doing so. Licences are there for a reason and in this case it’s to ensure that dogs are not overbred, are properly being cared for and are socialised. Let this serve as a warning to anyone thinking of breeding dogs without a licence, we will take action and we won’t hesitate to.”