In December 2015, RSPCA inspectors armed with animal welfare warrants raided Pastures Farm in December 2015. They had been alerted by members of the public after various dogs bought from the farm died of parvovirus, a highly contagious illness that is lethal to dogs.

Iain O’Donnell was instructed by Roger Price on behalf of the RSPCA in the case against Louise St John Poulton and Sean Kerr, who were represented by counsel.

The judge, Shamin Qureshi, heard that thirty seven dogs were found in the raid, many of whom had been kept in cold, dark conditions with faeces on the floor. Inspectors also found one dead puppy wrapped in a bag in the foot well of a van. Among the breeds discovered at the property were Pugs, Bichon Frises, Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas.

Sean Kerr, 52, denied all charges throughout the trial. Judge Qureshi concluded that he was motivated by a devious desire to keep the virus quiet and avoid problems with the authorities. He was jailed for six months for animal cruelty and convicted of nine charges at Birmingham magistrates’ court.

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