NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Two guilty of 'largest Scottish puppy farm' charges

Puppy
Image caption The raids were carried out in 2017

Two people have been found guilty of animal welfare offences after a raid at what is believed to have been Scotland's largest puppy farm.

Scottish SPCA officers and police had swooped on the farm near Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, in November 2017.

A total of more than 100 dogs, puppies, rabbits and ferrets, were seized.

Frank James, 54, and Michelle Wood, 30, were on trial charged with causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate care and treatment.

James, from Banff, and Wood, from Macduff, were found guilty at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Image caption Frank James will be sentenced next month
Image caption Police Scotland helped Scottish SPCA officers in the raid

Sentence was deferred until next month for reports.

'Absolutely disgraceful'

An undercover investigator for the Scottish SPCA said: "We believe this was the largest scale puppy farming operation in Scotland.

"The conditions these dogs were being kept in were absolutely disgraceful.

"It fell far below the minimum standard in terms of animal welfare and, given the environment and sheer volume of puppies, it was immediately evident these were not being kept as pets and the premises was effectively a battery farm for pups.

"Our investigation revealed dogs on site were being intensively bred with little to no regard for their welfare."

Image caption Almost 90 dogs were seized

Almost 90 dogs and puppies were among the animals seized in the operation.

All of the surviving animals were successfully rehomed.

The Scottish SPCA had carried out the operation with Police Scotland using warrants obtained under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 (Scotland).

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