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Carmarthenshire

More than 200 dogs rescued from unlicensed Carmarthenshire breeder

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A multi-agency operation in Carmarthenshire led by the county’s Trading Standards team has resulted in over 200 dogs rescued in what one rescue charity described as “the most heart-breaking and appalling conditions they had ever seen”. 

Hope Rescue, a charity based in Llanharan, alongside other animal welfare charities, were called to assist with the multi-agency operation to help over 200 breeding bitches, stud dogs and newly born puppies from an unlicensed breeder in Carmarthenshire last weekend.

The Hope Rescue welfare team attended the site and rescued 47 dogs from what was described as the most heart-breaking and appalling conditions they had ever seen.

In total they rescued five mums nursing with a total of 18 puppies, five pregnant mums and a further 20 adults. The dogs were amongst the most popular breeds including Bichon Frises, Shihtzus, Cockerpoos, Cavaliers, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels.

Some of the dogs required immediate admission to the vets including Smarties a Cocker Spaniel who needed treatment for severely infected bite wounds and a serious ear infection. She was found cowering in the corner of an outbuilding.

One of the nursing mums, Hazel a Bichon Frise, was so matted that she had maggots in her coat whilst feeding 5 day old puppies. A number of dogs also have eye and ear infections, heavy worm burdens and rotten teeth. 

Bichon Frise, Hazel was covered in maggots when rescued (Image: Hope Rescue)

Vanessa Waddon, Hope Rescue founder said: “The rescue centre was already near capacity before this intake due to the predicted rise in abandoned dogs following the lifting of lockdown restrictions. However, we are fortunate to have an incredible network of foster homes who didn’t hesitate to open their hearts and homes to help the physical and emotional rehabilitation of these traumatised puppy farm dogs, many of whom were trying to raise their puppies in such appalling conditions.

“The sad reality is that this puppy farmer was no doubt gearing up for the Christmas puppy market. Sadly, puppy farming is still very much alive in Wales and we were pleased to support the excellent work being undertaken by the Trading Standards Wales Regional Investigation Team.

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“We continue to urge everyone looking to add a four legged family member to do their research. Please check out your local rescue centre first, and if you are going to purchase a dog then ensure it is from a reputable breeder and follow the RSPCA advice.”  

Gareth Walters, Trading Standards Wales’ strategic lead for animal health and welfare, said: “Unlicensed puppy dealers prioritise profit over animal welfare – they want to generate the maximum amount of profit for the absolute minimum amount of effort and investment. The trade is attractive because of the large profits, with designer breed dogs having average price tags of £2,000, but often selling for £5,000 and stud dogs commanding fees even higher.”

Clive Jones, from the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team (Wales), said: “Posing as breeders, unlicensed dealers advertise puppies in newspapers, magazines and, most commonly, online. They lure consumers by promoting the fact that the puppies are complete pedigrees; however, this does not guarantee quality. Many consumers then find themselves having to pay a high cost, both financially and emotionally, for puppies reared in awful circumstances.”

(Lead image: Hope Rescue)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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