Suffolk

Pets Corner owners found guilty of breaching zoo licence

  • 4 January 2013
  • From the section Suffolk

The owners of a Suffolk petting zoo have been found guilty of failing to adequately look after their animals.

Marion Holness, 46, and Ruth Carney, 52, denied the charges but were fined £2,730 by magistrates in Lowestoft for six breaches of their zoo licence.

Waveney District Council inspectors found Pets Corner in Oulton Broad lacked proper veterinary care, had poor record keeping and contaminated water.

The council had received more than 20 complaints about conditions at the zoo.

After the hearing, councillor Mary Rudd, portfolio holder for community health, said inspectors had made some "shocking findings" in December 2011.

"This prompted the council to take the very serious step of prosecuting and we have worked extremely hard to bring this important case to court," Ms Rudd said.

'Slapped wrists'

The council said the prosecution followed a four-year period where it had worked with Pets Corner to try to raise the standards of management and animal care to the "minimum legal level".

Magistrates determined that 10 other breaches involving animal welfare neglect had been dealt with effectively as the result of a notice from trading standards.

Reacting to the judgment, Ms Holness said the fine was a punishment for poor administration.

"We got a slap on the wrists and the most minimal fine you can get," she said.

"The animals are our life - they're our passion. Never has there been any doubt about the welfare of the animals."

She said the petting zoo, which is home to animals including parrots, reptiles, chickens and goats, would reopen in the spring.

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