24/01/2019 - Permalink

Shropshire Council welcomes the result of RSPCA animal welfare prosecution

Related topics: My area / Partner organisations / public protection

Shropshire Council has supported an investigation, which was undertaken by the RSPCA, into the activities of Mrs Marcia Hollins-Jones, providing information and evidence to help secure a conviction in a recent animal welfare prosecution.

On Monday 21 January 2019 at Telford Magistrates’ Court, Mrs Hollins-Jones pleaded guilty to four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals in her care and was sentenced to a 3-year disqualification from keeping dogs (suspended for 28 days), a 10-year disqualification on dealing in dogs and a 10-year disqualification on holding an Activities Involving Animals Licence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Frances Darling, trading standards and licensing operations manager, said:

“The trading standards and licensing service very much welcome the outcome of this prosecution and have supported the work carried out by the RSPCA in their capacity as the lead organisation in England for protecting the animal welfare of pets.  The prosecution ultimately means that no further animals kept at this premises will suffer in the way the dogs in this case did.  This case is a prime example of effective partnership working and how the sharing of important evidence and information can produce very positive results.”

Frances Darling added:-

“It is important that the public know that, whilst Mrs Hollins-Jones has previously held licences to breed dogs under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, she does not hold a current dog breeding licence with Shropshire Council.  Throughout the duration of the licences previously held by Mrs Hollins-Jones, her premises was subject to the necessary council inspections as required by the Act, and unannounced inspections.  The outcome of these inspections was satisfactory under the terms set out in the Act.  Officers have for some time recognised that the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 did not reflect the animal welfare standards that are expected today, and, therefore, continuously tried to work with Mrs Hollins-Jones to improve standards at the premises above those minimum requirements of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.”

Joyce Barrow, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, waste and regulatory services, said:

“On 1 October 2018, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 came into force. These Regulations provide a much more comprehensive approach to issuing licences for dog breeding.  They have a significantly higher level of consideration for the welfare of animals and require a much higher standard from premises carrying out dog breeding. The regulations are very much welcomed by the council and have been fully implemented. I want to reassure the community that, had Mrs Hollins-Jones made an application for dog breeding under these new Regulations, it is highly unlikely that that she would have been successful without making significant improvements to the way in which she operated her dog breeding business.”