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Court for Neath Port Talbot raw pet food manufacturing business

Credit: Neath Port Talbot Council

The Director of a Neath Port Talbot raw pet food manufacturing business, supplying dog owners and breeders across South Wales and the English border, has been prosecuted by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council for supplying unsafe pet food and operating in unhygienic conditions.

Happy Hounds (Wales) Limited, based at Cwmgors Industrial Estate, Cwmgors, Gwaun Cae Gurwen had been monitored by Neath Port Talbot Trading Standards & Animal Health over a number of years.

The business bought waste meat and offal from a number of sources, such as slaughter houses, cutting plants and meat packers to reprocess and sell as raw dog food. However, it failed to ensure that its products were safe in respect of bacteria and feed / food borne disease, which could be transmitted to both pets and their owners.

A series of pet feed samples that were taken from the business’s products were found to carry salmonella and other bacterium in excess of permitted levels, rendering them unsafe in the opinion of the public analyst.

On 11th September 2023, at Swansea Magistrates’ Court, Derrick Lewis, 67, of Dan Y Deri, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Director of Happy Hounds (Wales) Limited, pleaded guilty to five charges of placing unsafe feed on the market and two of unhygienic premises. The company has entered liquidation.

District Judge Layton said that over a period of time Mr Lewis had breached regulations, putting unsafe feed on the market and neglected his processing facilities.  Judge Layton added that Mr Lewis had received by-products of no value and converted them to feed, and corners were cut.

Mr Lewis was sentenced to 18 weeks custody which was suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently on all counts; to pay £15,000 as a contribution towards the council’s costs; and to pay a victim surcharge of £128.

Councillor Cen Phillips, Cabinet Member for Nature, Tourism and Well-being said

“Neath Port Talbot takes public safety very seriously. Repeated attempts at advising the company to comply with regulations to protect public health. Trading Standards & Animal Health therefore had no option but to prosecute the business.

“Businesses should be aware that Trading Standards & Animal Health would prefer to work with them, but if they fail to comply with regulations designed to protect the public then they will take firm action.”