Tag Archives: Ceredigion

St Clears, Carmarthen: Steffan Harris and Barbara Howell

#TheList Steffan Lee Harris, born 17/12/93, and Barbara Ray Howell, born 21/08/93, of Gorwyn, Tenby Road, St Clears, Carmarthen SA33 4JN – kept dozens of dogs in shocking conditions at illegal puppy farm

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales

Steffan Lee Harris and partner Barbara Ray Howell pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences, running a dog breeding business without a licence, and consumer offences relating to the advertising of dogs online.

Animal inspectors found starving and sick dogs being held in sheds and barns at premises operated by the couple who sold puppies online while pretending to be private sellers.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, told the court how the couple advertised on a website called, ironically, he said, preloved.co.uk.

One buyer paid £225 for a puppy from a caravan the pair rented at Waun Dwni farm, Tanygroes. The animal became ill before the buyer got back home to Cardiff and they ended up paying £700 in vet’s bills.

Mr Hobson said the puppy had not been microchipped, vaccinated or treated for fleas as the couple had claimed in their advertisement.

A major investigation followed, first by Ceredigion County Council and then by the RSPCA.

Inspectors found 82 dogs being kept in poor conditions – 49 breeding females, 12 males and 21 puppies ready for sale.

Many of the dogs were kept in small enclosures with little light or access to fresh air with poor or muddy bedding and sharp corners and low-hanging electrical cables across the pens.

A lurcher could hardly move, a terrier was tied to a breeze block and a collie had a body score of one out of nine and was close to death.

Another dog was kept in a sealed container and it appeared impossible for anyone to get in to feed or water her, said Mr Hobson.

Inspectors also found pigs squealing through lack of food and water, and chickens that appeared not to have been fed or given access to water. One chicken collapsed in front of them.

The court heard Harris, who was present during the inspection, was “less than cooperative” during the process.

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales
Barbara Howell and Steffan Harris

Harris and Howell both admitted cruelty offences in relation to the pigs and Harris to the chickens.

Mr Hobson said further investigation showed that Harris had a flock of 110 sheep on nearby land, which he rented.

The owner became concerned because he did not seem to be there to look after them and inspectors found sheep carcasses that should have been disposed of properly.

After Harris was made aware of their concerns the sheep disappeared, apart from 19 which he seemed to have simply abandoned.

Mr Hobson said an initial financial investigation suggested the couple had banked £150,000 between 2013 and 2018 through the sale of puppies.

A Proceeds of Crime Act investigation is underway to determine how much money could been confiscated from them. That matter will be settled at a court hearing on 15 November, 2019.

After his arrest Harris said he wanted to get the puppy farm up and running before applying for a licence.

Howell said she only looked after the paperwork.

For Harris and Howell James Hartson said he accepted that anyone seeing the photographs of the dogs could not fail to be mortified.

“They had ambitions for a business but lost control. It is likely the financial consequences will be punitive,” he added.

Mr Hartson urged the judge not to impose banning orders preventing the defendants from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs as that would effectively stop Harris from carrying out his work as a herdsman.

Judge Peter Heywood said animals were defenceless and Harris and Howell had housed them in totally inappropriate surroundings.

“This was a significant commercial enterprise and Harris was the driving force,” he added.

“You were in it to make money and had no regard for the welfare of the animals.”

The judge said Harris, who cannot read or write, had been the “driving force” behind the enterprise while Howell had assisted him.

He said he would be failing in his public duty if he suspended Harris’ sentence, but took into account that Howell had a young child when sentencing her.

Sentencing: Harris was jailed for six months (half to be served on licence) while Howell was given a four-month suspended sentence and ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement. Both were made the subject of banning orders preventing them from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs, chickens, and sheep for the next five years.

WalesOnline
Cambrian News

Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales: Dylan Williams

#TheList farmer Dylan E Williams, born c. 1972, of Neuaddlwyd Isaf, Ciliau Aeron, Lampeter SA48 7RE – pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land.

Dylan Williams from Ciliau Aeron, SW Wales, was convicted of cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land

Williams, who also owns a tree surgery business, pleaded guilty to four animal welfare and animal by-products offences after an investigation carried out by Ceredigion Council.

When animal welfare officers visited the farm in April 2018, they found 47 sheep carcasses in various states of decomposition. These carcasses were accessible by other sheep and young lambs that were still alive.

Dylan Williams from Ciliau Aeron, SW Wales, was convicted of cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land

The council said the majority of sheep seen on the land were suffering from severe wool loss and irritated skin, signs of a debilitating condition known as sheep scab.

Two of the charges brought against Williams under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 concerned the causing of unnecessary suffering to two ewes – one of which was found unconscious with her intestines protruding from her body.

Dylan Williams from Ciliau Aeron, SW Wales, was convicted of cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land

Another offence related to Williams not meeting the welfare needs of his sheep due to the fact that he failed to properly inspect the flock. He also failed to manage and treat the sheep scab effectively.

In total, there were three separate offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and one under the Animal By-Products Regulations.

Sentencing: 250 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £1,648 costs. Not banned from keeping animals.

Daily Post
Wales Online

Llandysul, Ceredigion: David and Evan Meirion Davies

#TheList farmers David Davies , born 1956, and brother Evan Meirion Davies, born 1969, both of Penffynnon Farm, Bangor Teifi, Llandysul SA44 4HX – for a catalogue of appalling cruelty to cattle

Cattle in the care of brothers David and Evan Meirion Davies were housed in terrible conditions, with no food, water or dry lying area.
Cattle in the care of brothers David and Evan Meirion Davies were housed in terrible conditions, with no food, water or dry lying area.

Brothers David Davies, and Evan Meirion Davies admitted 13 charges of animal cruelty.

The prosecution follows a visit by animal health officers and a Animal and Plant Health Agency vet to the farm in April 2018.

Officers found 58 cattle carcasses in various states of decay in the cattle sheds and surrounding fields. The remaining cattle were housed in terrible conditions, with no food, water or dry lying area.

The vet confirmed that the cattle were being caused unnecessary suffering, and also formed the opinion that the dead cattle had also succumbed to the horrendous conditions found in the sheds, and died of neglect. The vet had to euthanise two cattle to stop further suffering during visits to the premises.

This was the worst case of animal welfare neglect seen to date by the animal health team of Ceredigion County Council, they said.

In sentencing, the magistrates acknowledged the evidence of horrendous suffering, inadequate care and poor animal husbandry displayed by both defendants to the animals.

The Cabinet member responsible for public protection, Cllr Gareth Lloyd said: “This was a truly shocking case of neglect that caused terrible suffering to so many animals. We will not hesitate to act decisively whenever we need to protect animal welfare.”

“This was an extreme case, and in no way reflects on the dedication of the overwhelming majority of Ceredigion farmers in maintaining the highest standards of care for their animals.”

Sentencing:
16 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months. Ordered to pay costs to the council of £1,500 each. Disqualified from keeping any animals of any description for five years. The pair were allowed 28 days in which to make the necessary arrangements.

Cambrian News

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Update December 2019:
It was reported that the brothers lost their appeal against a ban on keeping animals.

They sought to appeal the initial guilty verdict despite pleading guilty earlier in the year, and they were claimed to have tried to frustrate the appeals process by securing a number of adjournments – a total of seven – in appeal hearings, before an eighth request to adjourn proceedings on Monday was not granted. Instead, a crown court judge decided to uphold the original judgement, referring to the case as “truly disturbing”.

Ceredigion Council admitted it had been frustrated by delays in the case, but said they were always confident that the ban initially imposed would not be overturned. Both Davies brothers appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Monday 02/12/19 to see their original sentences upheld.

The pair were ordered to pay Ceredigion Council costs of £420, on top of costs totalling £3,000 that they were ordered to pay in February.

Tivyside Advertiser

Llandysul, Ceredigion, Wales: Alexander & Victoria Grice

#TheList Alexander Kyle Grice, born c. 1966, and Victoria Louisa Kyle Grice, born c. 1968, of Llwyncelyn, Glanarthan, Llandysul SA44 6PL – for cruelty towards dogs, a rabbit and a guinea pig

Brother and sister Alexander and Victoria Grice were both convicted on 12 counts of animal cruelty following a two-day trial in September 2017.

The case was brought by the RSPCA and both defendants had denied all the charges.

Among the offences of which they were jointly convicted were failing to protect a basset hound named Bertie from pain, suffering or disease. Bertie was underweight, in poor condition and not living in a suitable environment.

The pair were also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a bichon frise dog named Bella, who was underweight, suffering from severe dental disease, skin disease, mammary tumours and an ear infection.

The pair were also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to treat flea infestations, skin, eye and ear infections for various dogs and to causing unnecessary suffering to a rabbit and a guinea pig.

Sentencing: Community orders – Alexander Grice failed to comply with this and in June 2018 was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail. Victoria Grice’s order was later revoked on health grounds. Total of £585 costs and charges each. Three-year ban on keeping animals.

Tivyside Advertiser

Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales: Richard Samuel Morgan Jones

#TheList illegal dog breeder Richard Samuel Morgan Jones, born c. 1985, of Moelfre, Llanwnnen, Lampeter SA48 7NY – kept poorly dogs and puppies in appalling conditions at his puppy farm

The horrific conditions at a Welsh puppy farm which saw illegal breeder Richard Jones banned from dealing in dogs
Illegal puppy farmer Richard Jones kept dogs and puppies in squalor

Ceredigion Council brought the prosecution against Jones after raids at two premises in June 2016 found 113 dogs and puppies suffering.

He was convicted of two counts of illegal dog breeding and 21 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs following two raids in June 2016.

Vile: heartless illegal puppy farmer Richard Jones from Llanwnnen, Lampeter, kept dogs and puppies in darkness and squalor and failed to treat their numerous health conditions
Vile: heartless illegal puppy farmer Richard Jones from Llanwnnen, Lampeter, kept dogs and puppies in darkness and squalor and failed to treat their numerous health conditions

Jones operated illegal puppy farms at two premises: one at the Moelfre farm and another at Creuddyn Bridge, Lampeter.

Officers from Ceredigion County found 113 dogs and puppies at both venues.

The animals were described by the vet who examined them as mentally stressed with no exercise or social contact, with many dogs homed on their own.

Many of the animals were described as dangerously thin, with one suffering from gangrene and septicaemia and close to death.

The horrific conditions at a Welsh puppy farm which saw illegal breeder Richard Jones banned from dealing in dogs

Some pups had been so neglected they showed signs of extreme mental suffering, while many were ‘close to death’.

The horrific conditions at a Welsh puppy farm which saw illegal breeder Richard Jones banned from dealing in dogsThe horrific conditions at a Welsh puppy farm which saw illegal breeder Richard Jones banned from dealing in dogs

The dogs included Bichon Frise, rottweilers, Scottish and West Highland terriers, beagles, Cavalier King Charles spaniels and Yorkshire terriers.

The horrific conditions at a Welsh puppy farm which saw illegal breeder Richard Jones banned from dealing in dogs

Council vet Dr John O’Connor documented the suffering of the animals in each of the 21 charges.

Among them was a male Scottish terrier which he said had a “very advanced chronic skin condition and the thinness would have resulted in the dog suffering unnecessarily for a considerable length of time”.

“The dog’s ears were also badly affected with crusting indicating severe damage from long standing inflammation and scratching,” he added.

A Bichon Frise female was found with “advanced cataracts” and a “right ear flap [that] appeared to be exhibiting the early signs of gangrene”.

Another Bichon Frise puppy, just a few days old, had to be “immediately removed” from the premises when found as “it was so thin and cold that it could no longer suck”.

“It was so thin that the body condition score would have been close to death,” Dr O’Connor previously told the court.

Jones had been running a licensed premises known as “The Shed” near Lampeter with over 70 dogs from 2010.

Its licence was renewed yearly until 2015 when the local authority decided not to renew it because of concerns.

The application was for 70 dogs to breed 40 litters a year.

In 2016, an application was not made by Jones, but he carried on breeding.

Searches of both his premises was carried out with 56 dogs found at “The Shed” and 38 puppies and 19 dogs found at Moelfre farm.

Jones’ defence claimed he was devastated by the refusal for a licence in 2015 after making considerable investments at “The Shed” and felt he had been dealt with disproportionately by the local authority.

Matthew Paul, for Jones, told the court his ability to care for the dogs had been affected by personal issues including depression, and the need to care for the family farm.

Illegal puppy farmer Richard Jones from Lampeter, Wales

“It was not deliberate neglect, but circumstances overtook him”, he said.

The court said all dogs should be removed from his premises by 2 March, 2017.

Sentencing:
Nine-week suspended prison sentence. 200 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping dogs for four years – later overturned on appeal with Jones being allowed to keep dogs for hill farming. He is banned from “dealing in dogs” for six years (expires February 2023). 

BBC News
WalesOnline 09/02/2017
WalesOnline 12/05/2017
Ceredigion Council report on the prosecution