A MAN has been ordered to pay more than £4,000 after pleading guilty to breeding dogs without a licence following a successful prosecution by Winchester City Council.

John Ware, 40, admitted an offence of keeping a breeding establishment for dogs without holding a licence, contrary to the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.

Portsmouth Magistrates Court heard how the council’s environmental protection team investigated the matter after being notified by Havant Borough Council of puppies being bred in Denmead.

Officers obtained a search warrant earlier this year and when they inspected Mill Farm they found a large number of dogs and four litters of puppies being held in various outhouses.

Further evidence revealed at least three other litters which had been bred by Ware or born to dogs owned by his relatives and kept at an address in Denmead.

Ware, of Blakemere Crescent, Portsmouth, was disqualified from obtaining a dog breeding licence for a period of 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £4,375.

Under current legislation it is an offence for anyone who keeps a breeding establishment for dogs to allow bitches to give birth to five or more litters within a 12-month period.

The law is due to change next year and it is anticipated that the number of litters permitted without a licence will be limited to three per year.

Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for environmental health and licensing, said: “Winchester City Council takes breeding dogs without a licence seriously and I am pleased to see the council’s legal team achieve another successful prosecution.

"If we are presented with clear evidence of wrong-doing we as a Council will not shy away from taking matters before the courts. I would encourage potential dog owners to look closely at where they buy from, and if there are any concerns please contact Winchester City Council’s environmental health department or the RSPCA.”