An illegal dog breeder has been banned from keeping dogs and ordered to pay thousands of pounds in costs following a prosecution brought by Cornwall Council’s Licensing team.

On Tuesday, April 20 at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court, Barry John Rowe aged 70, of St Day, was found guilty of operating a commercial dog breeding operation without a licence.

He was also found guilty of serious animal welfare offences, including causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide a duty of care to the dogs.

Five of Mr Rowe’s dogs, some of which were pregnant, were seized under warrant by the council. The court has now granted a deprivation order which means the council can make safe rehoming arrangements for the animals.

Mr Rowe was ordered to pay £9,336.12 towards the council’s costs and pay a victim surcharge to the court.

Taking into account the seriousness of the offences and a relevant previous conviction, Rowe was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

The District Judge also made a disqualification order preventing Rowe from owning, keeping or participating in the keeping of dogs.

Mr Gregory Gordon, prosecuting on behalf of the council, informed the court that over a number of years the licensing team had repeatedly contacted Mr Rowe in an effort to raise animal welfare and potential licensing standards.

However, despite being warned of the consequences of continuing to operate without a dog breeding licence, Mr Rowe persisted to breed dogs in sub-standard conditions, causing a high level of suffering to the animals.

Mark Luxton, Cornwall Council’s Head of Service for Community Protection, Licensing and Enforcement, said: “The outcome of this case sends a clear message that dog breeders without the necessary licence will be sought out and fully investigated.

"The council will always endeavour to work with dog breeders to achieve compliance with dog breeding legislation and to meet required animal welfare standards.

"If we are presented with clear evidence of wrong-doing we will not shy away from taking matters before the courts.”