Caerphilly Trading Standards Officers save animals from horrifying welfare conditions
The Caerphilly County Borough Council Trading Standards Team has received the Institute’s Hero Award at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) annual Hero Awards which celebrates outstanding achievements in consumer protection.
The Hero Awards, hosted by Yvonne Fovargue MP and the early morning breakfast show host Jenni Falconer, were held in the House of Commons on 22 November. The CTSI Hero Awards showcase the work of individuals or groups making exceptional contributions to consumer protection within our communities and safeguarding businesses.
During lockdown, a surge in demand for puppies led to an unprecedented increase in unlicensed dog breeding, with many breeders prioritising profits over animal welfare. With complaints and intelligence reports skyrocketing, the Caerphilly Trading Standards team reallocated considerable resources to combat illegal dog breeding activities and investigated and prosecuted three significant animal welfare cases.
One case, which was sentenced in July this year, pertained to officers finding dozens of dogs living in horrifying conditions. Described as one of the worst cases ever encountered by officers, the dogs were found living in their own faeces with little access to water or light and riddled with fleas.
The officers that raided the illegal dog breeding business found dozens of dogs and their puppies living in rooms carpeted by hard crust faeces overlayed by urine and ammonia in such high concentration that it caused the officer's eyes to burn.
As a result of the dedication of the Trading Standards officers, the licensing section and partner agencies dozens of animals have been rescued from atrocious living conditions, rehabilitated, and rehomed with the perpetrators brought to justice.
CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said: “Unlicensed dog breeding unfortunately continues to be a prominent issue, it is abhorrent that animals are being subjected to such deplorable living conditions to line the pockets of criminals.
“Caerphilly’s Trading Standards team have saved numerous animals from suffering and demonstrated their outstanding commitment to animal welfare. They are truly deserving of the Institutes Hero Award”.
Dilys Harris from Caerphilly County Borough Council Trading Standards, said: “Caerphilly Trading Standards are incredibly proud to receive national recognition from CTSI for the work we have done in relation to unlicensed dog breeding.
“Working in partnership with others, the team has investigated a number of complex cases and uncovered evidence of mutilation and links to organised crime. We have encountered filthy conditions and managed aggressive, confrontational, and emotionally distressing situations. In Caerphilly animal health and welfare is a high priority. It has been hugely rewarding to make a real difference to animal welfare and achieve justice for the dogs that have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous breeders who prioritise profit over their welfare needs.”
The Institute’s Hero Award is supported by the College of Fellows, who helped present this award alongside Wayne David MP.
Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s Trading Standards profession, and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline Trading Standards services at local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk
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