Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Kennel has licence revoked for animal welfare breaches

Thursday, 23 November 2023

Woburn Forest Kennels in Bedfordshire lost its licence and incurred a fine after receiving complaints regarding animal welfare.

In April 2022, an unannounced inspection by our Animal Welfare Licensing Team uncovered violations of licence regulations and animal welfare issues, following a complaint from a member of the public.

Following the investigation in May 2022, Miss Stephenie Staples, the licensee and proprietor of Woburn Forest Kennels, Fordfield Road, Millbrook, had her home boarding licence for dogs revoked.

A subsequent enquiry by the Animal Welfare Licensing Team revealed that, despite the licence revocation, Miss Staples continued to operate Woburn Forest Kennels. She was found to be boarding dogs in unlicensed kennels, providing day care and overnight kennelling. This action constitutes a breach of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, as she operated an animal boarding establishment without a licence, an offense triable in court.

Miss Staples pleaded guilty to this offense at Luton Magistrates court in September 2023 and was convicted at the end of October 2023. As a result, she received a fine of £1854 and is now prohibited from operating any animal boarding establishment in the future, as well as any other animal activity regulated under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

Councillor Rebecca Hares, our Executive Member responsible for Health and Community Liaison, said:

We're pleased with the outcome of this court case, and we want to keep urging our residents to report any concerns they may have to us. This helps us uphold our high standards for animal welfare.

Additionally, we strongly encourage pet owners to refer to our regularly updated list of licensed businesses. This promotes a safe, regulated environment for their beloved pets.

For those seeking dog boarding or day care services, we maintain an up-to-date register of all licensed animal businesses.

If you have concerns or enquiries regarding licensed or potentially unlicensed dog boarding services, please email trading.standards@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or by calling 0300 300 8302.