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Carmarthenshire County Council prosecutes Kennel club show judge

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close up photo of a furry dog
close up photo of a furry dog

A Kennel Club show judge previously of Hendy, Carmarthenshire has been prosecuted for unlicensed dog breeding by Carmarthenshire County Council following an application for a dog and cat boarding license.

Mr Gareth Lawler, who now lives in the Monmouth area, was found guilty in Swansea Crown Court in December 2022, following investigations in 2020 which uncovered the illegal breeding of 27 litters in a four year period.

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Lawler’s benefit from the crime was ordered as £153,000, with the available sum being confiscated ordered at £78,000. The Court ordered a 12 month default custodial sentence if the sum is not paid within 3 months. The judge also awarded a fine of £500 for unlicensed dog breeding with 6 months to pay and a further 14 days sentence if Lawler fails to do so.

The £78,000 sum confiscated from Lawler was done so under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Following an application to renew a boarding license which lapsed in 2019, an inspection took place where Animal Welfare Officers discovered Lawler’s own dogs being kept in poor conditions as well as there being suspicion of illegal dog breeding.

The boarding license was refused and a warrant was obtained to search the property. This was due to the unsatisfactory conditions his own dogs were being kept in and refusal to allow Officers to access areas where other dogs and puppies were housed, as well as other non-conformities to licensing conditions.

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The subsequent search and online investigations by Council Officers uncovered breeding dogs and puppies being kept in poor conditions as well as evidence of large-scale unlicensed dog breeding. 27 litters were bred between 24th July 2016 and 22nd July 2020, 11 of which were bred in the last 12 months, despite being advised of current dog breeding regulations on more than one occasion.

Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen, Carmarthenshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability with responsibility for Trading Standards said: “I would like to praise the actions of our Animal Welfare team who uncovered unlicensed dog breeding, as well as dogs being kept in unacceptable conditions during an inspection which forms part of the dog boarding licensing procedure.

“Mr Lawler is well-known on the dog show circuit, having judged English Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels and Welsh Springer Spaniels at Kennel Club shows and this case indicates the importance of licenses for dog boarding and breeding, both of which are in place to protect the welfare of dogs”.

“The Council is committed to ensuring that breeders and boarders of dogs in Carmarthenshire follow the rules that are in place which ensure that breeding dogs, their puppies and those being boarded are being kept in proper conditions”.

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