Wolstonbury Kennels prosecuted under animal welfare regulations

PR2498/MB/MF - 04/04/2023

Mid Sussex District Council has successfully prosecuted the owners of Wolstonbury Kennels in Bolney after they were found to have breached their licensing conditions.

Mr Tony Steer and his wife Michelle Steer were licenced to provide boarding kennels for up to 30 dogs at Wolstonbury Kennels, Homewood House, Bolney. When Licensing Officers from Mid Sussex District Council inspected the kennels in August 2022, they discovered more than double the number of dogs permitted, dogs from different households sharing kennel units, boarded dogs housed in the same kennel block as stray dogs, and missing registration and vaccination records.

The Council offered to work with Mr and Mrs Steer to comply with the regulations. However, when a reinspection occurred in September 2022, Licensing Officers found the issues from August were still evident.

Mr and Mrs Steer were prosecuted by Mid Sussex District Council for continued breaches of animal welfare requirements and the licence for Wolstonbury Kennels was changed to remove permission for boarding dogs.

On 28 March 2023, Mr Tony Steer and Mrs Michelle Steer were found guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court of seven offences under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. The Magistrates’ Court fined Mr and Mrs Steer a total of £2180, including the Council’s costs.

A spokesperson for Mid Sussex District Council said

“Families trust that licensed businesses will look after their pets, and the minimum we expect is they meet and maintain basic welfare standards for the animals in their care.

“The majority of kennels in Mid Sussex take great pride in ensuring the animals they home are well cared for. However, if the Council finds any business is not complying with animal welfare regulations, we will not hesitate to take action to ensure that licence holders comply with the law.”