|Puppy farmer banned and fined over beaten Mastiffs
A millionaire puppy farmer has been a banned from keeping animals for life and fined £2,600 after it was found he kept puppies and dogs in appalling conditions and beat them with sticks.
Christopher Gorman, 54, kept Mastiffs on his property in Airdrie, Scotland and was caught after complaints had been made by concerned neighbours.
This was not the first time he had come under investigation and earlier this year he was prosecuted after a clampdown by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Scotland's worst puppy traders. He faced a six figure tax demand after being found guilty of selling dogs without a licence. For that offence he was sentenced to a six month restriction of liberty, a 10 year ban from owning animals and received a £500 fine.
For this offence he was found guilty of failing to provide veterinary treatment to two Mastiff pups suffering from parvo virus, deliberately striking dogs with a length of timber and failing to ensure a suitable environment such as providing adequate shelter, warmth and access to enough food and water.
An undercover inspector for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) said, 'Gorman has a long history of disregarding the welfare of the animals in his care. This case has highlighted his ongoing cruelty and we're delighted that he has been dealt with by the courts.
'The mastiff type puppies were suffering from parvo virus which is an excruciatingly debilitating illness which can in some cases result in death.
'To not seek veterinary treatment for these pups despite their obvious distress shows Gorman's priorities lay entirely in the profit that could be gained from selling on puppies to naïve new owners, rather than in the welfare of the dogs.
'Furthermore, the evidence showed Gorman's violent behaviour towards these dogs. He can clearly be seen hitting them with a stick, all whilst being content to leave them in less than suitable living conditions.
'Mr Gorman made it very clear that he had no intention of stopping his activities and we are very pleased that our investigation and the subsequent prosecution will prevent further suffering to the dogs and puppies that were in his care and also prevent him from causing other dogs and puppies to suffer as a result of his future actions.'
Gorman has a portfolio of rental properties valued at £1.2 million and will face a proceeds of crime investigation from prosecutors over his profits from animal misery. The Sheriff, Sara Matheson, allowed him to pay his fine at £50 a week.
Ms Matheson said, 'You have been convicted of three charges which contravene the animal health and welfare act.
'You repeatedly struck dogs with a piece of wood and there was CCTV evidence of this which made for uncomfortable viewing.
'You were also convicted of failing to keep a large number of dogs in appropriate conditions.
'And you convicted of a charge which relates to acts which caused the death of the two dogs.
'You will be disqualified from owning, keeping, dealing or transporting, working or using any dogs and providing any service and from taking charge of any animal for life.'