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Forest of Dean resident pleads guilty to animal welfare offences

A Forest of Dean Resident has pleaded guilty at a hearing in Gloucester Crown Court today for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.  The Chaxhill resident, Mr Edward Rafferty pleaded guilty to offences of failing to meet an animal’s needs, causing unnecessary suffering to dogs, selling dogs without a licence and boarding dogs without a licence. In addition, he pleaded guilty to an offence relating to the Fraud Act 2006.

An allegation was made to the Forest of Dean District Council regarding the individual breeding dogs without a licence and an investigation was commenced by the Council’s Counter Fraud and Enforcement Unit.

In conjunction with officers from the Local Policing Team and the Rural Crime Team of Gloucestershire Constabulary, a warrant was executed at a premises in May last year. A commercial dog breeding enterprise was discovered with commercial kennels at the rear of the property. The police seized a substantial amount of cash from the property.

Adverts for the sale of puppies were placed on websites such as Gumtree and Pets4Homes.  Those adverts were false and gave the impression that the seller was selling dogs from a family home and that he was a reputable breeder. The adverts reported that the puppies were raised in a caring family home, and were all vet checked.  

The prosecution was brought by Officers in the Street Wardens Team and Licensing department at FODDC, assisted by the Council’s Counter Fraud and Enforcement Unit (CFEU) and the Council’s Legal team. Mr Rafferty is due to be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on the 27 September 2024.

Members of the public can contact the team with any concerns about animal welfare by email at [email protected] or the CFEU by email at [email protected]

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]