We recently concluded a prosecution on behalf of Loddon Shire Council against an Accused who operated a dog breeding establishment in breach of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (P&E Act) and the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (DA Act).
The Accused was charged with:
- 3 counts of using land in contravention of a planning permit, in breach of s 126 of the P&E Act
- 1 count of operating a domestic animal business on a premises that had not been registered for that purpose with Council, in breach of s 45 of the DA Act
- 8 counts of operating a dog breeding establishment that did not comply with the Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Establishments, in breach s 63A of the DA Act
- 56 counts of being the owner of a dog that had not been registered with Council, in breach of s 10(1) of the DA Act.
The Accused entered a plea of guilty to all charges.
In the course of sentencing the Accused, the Magistrate stated that, while the Accused had rightly obtained a permit to operate a dog breeding establishment on her land, thereafter she had ‘failed absolutely’ in the operation of the enterprise. His Honour considered the Accused’s breaches of the P&E Act and the DA Act to be ‘significant and wilful’.
His Honour accepted the submission on behalf of the prosecution that the principles of general and specific deterrence required a strong sentencing disposition and imposed a fine of $40,000. The Accused was also ordered to pay Council’s full legal costs in the amount of $5,556.
The sentencing order sends a strong message to the Accused, and the community at large, that offences of this nature will not be tolerated.