The Committee impose the following penalties:
- To disqualify them from exhibiting at, taking part in, attending and/or having any connection with any event licensed by the Club. If any person disqualified under this sub-paragraph shall attend any canine event whilst disqualified the Board shall have the power to increase the period of disqualification [A11 j (4)]
- To disqualify them from being or becoming a member of any canine club or society registered with or affiliated to The Kennel Club [A11 j (5)]
- To disqualify them from acting as an Officer or serving on the Committee of any canine society [A11 j (6)]
- To disqualify them from taking part in the management of any event licensed by the Club [A11 j (7)]
- To disqualify them from judging at any event licensed by the Club [A11 j (8)]
- To disqualify them from effecting registrations of any or all dogs and/or progeny of such dogs which are owned and/or registered by them (whether or not jointly owned and/or whether or not owned and/or registered in the name of a nominee) [A11 j (9)]
The Committee noted that Mr & Mrs Portingale were found guilty of three charges relating to the failure to provide veterinary care for eye and dental problems in dogs and cats in their care.
No mitigation was proffered either to the Court or to The Kennel Club.
The Court imposed a disqualification from keeping animals for 7 years. The Committee’s view was that a 10 year disqualification period from Kennel Club regulated activities was appropriate.
Mr & Mrs Portingale were experienced breeders and the Committee wished to reinforce the message that there can be no reasonable excuse or mitigation for a breeder in failing to meet the proper needs for animals in their care. It is unacceptable – and a breeder should seek urgent assistance if finding that the welfare needs of the animals in their care is at risk of being compromised.
As with previous cases involving offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is worth expressly stating that any breeder must ensure that the needs of an animal must be met to the extent required by good practice under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 including;
- a. its need for a suitable environment,
- b. its need for a suitable diet,
- c. its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,
- d. any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and
- e. its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.