Published: Wed 20 January, 2021
A dog breeder in North West Leicestershire has had their licence removed after raising animal welfare concerns by overbreeding dogs and breaching several licence conditions.
The Coalville based breeder, Ellis Hopkins, who traded as Bardon Bullys of Beveridge Lane, Bardon Hill, failed to meet a number of licensing conditions by breeding more than her licence allowed, providing misleading information to officers and failing to keep important litter records.
North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) received complaints that puppies became ill shortly after they were taken to their new homes, one of which had died. It was also reported that contrary to sale adverts, the dogs were sold without records of vaccinations, vet checks, or being de-flead and wormed.
Three witnesses also raised concerns to the RSPCA that puppies being sold by the owner from properties contrary to their licence were underweight, lethargic and living in dirty conditions with animal waste on the floor.
During a routine inspection in July 2020, Hopkins failed to provide officers at NWLDC with litters records that are required under the animal welfare (licensing of activities involving animals) (England) regulations 2018 which breeders should always have available for inspection.
The conditions of the licence, which was granted to Bardon Bullys in October 2019, stated that they could only have a maximum of one litter at a time, and no more than five per year.
In a separate investigation in September 2020, Leicestershire Police visited the home where the business was registered to and reported that there were 38 dogs in total with at least five different puppy litters.
Through Facebook research and information gathered from Pets4Homes and the Kennel Club, officers at NWLDC confirmed that Hopkins had bred at least 11 different dogs and on occasion had three litters of puppies on site at any one time.
Evidence from the research also showed that the owner had bred at least two dogs twice within 12 months, which breaches the condition that animals should be bred no more than once within a 12-month period to protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
NWLDC has removed the licence with immediate effect, which is thought to be the first case of its kind in Leicestershire. Hopkins has also been stripped of her four star ‘Higher Standards’ dog breeder status as she no longer meets the criteria.
Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Our licensing teams play an important role in ensuring animal welfare standards are met in the district and will always respond to concerns and complaints raised by the public.
“It is clear that this breeder had no respect for their licence or the dogs they had a responsibility for, and I’m sure our communities will join me in applauding our officers for the action they have taken.”