Two men have been sentenced for offences relating to the welfare of animals kept at a ‘pet shop’ in Birmingham.
Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel, the respective licence holder and manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics based at 149 Bordesley Green, admitted the offences at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court yesterday (21/08).
Hussain aged 50 from Sheldon, pleaded guilty to 12 charges under the Pet Animals Act 1951, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, while Nabeel aged 28 from Alum Rock, pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The court heard how on 30 May 2018, Birmingham City Council’s animal welfare team received a complaint from the RSPCA about conditions at the licensed pet shop.
The team was unable to attend that day so an RSPCA inspector visited the premises and found a number of animal welfare concerns, including:
- A cockatiel with an obvious injury to its wing, which later had to be put to sleep
- Two budgerigars kept in a small, dirty cage
- A female cat with mammary growths, another cat chained up in the back of the shop and a third cat kept in a small cage with no food, water, bedding or litter tray
- Two large rabbits kept in a small, dirty cage with no water
The RSPCA inspector issued warning notices to manager Nabeel and instructed him to make numerous and immediate improvements, including taking the cockatiel and the cat with the growths to a vet for an examination.
A senior animal welfare officer from the council visited the shop the following day, accompanied by the RSPCA inspector, and found a number of breaches of the licence relating to cleanliness, size of accommodation for animals being too small, dirty drinking receptacles or no drinking water at all, no environmental enrichment provided and animals being housed in accommodation which did not minimise stress caused by other animals.
Hussain was subsequently advised of the failure to comply with numerous conditions attached to the licence issued to him for the premises. Hussain did not attend two interviews arranged and did not provide any comments. Nabeel was interviewed by the RSPCA officer but denied any wrongdoing.
District Judge Jan Jellema described the evidence as showing a ‘truly appalling picture of how animals were kept’ and that there was ‘scant evidence of any affection for animals’.
Both Nabeel and Hussain were each sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 12 months. They were both disqualified from having custody of any animal for a period of 10 years. Hussain was also disqualified from keeping a pet shop for 10 years. The defendants also are required to pay full costs of £5,600 between them.
Councillor Phil Davis, chair of the council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This is an absolutely appalling case where the licence holder allowed the conditions in his pet shop to deteriorate. Animals were kept in truly terrible conditions while the manager was incapable of looking after the animals and caring for their needs. In the case of the cockatiel, this lack of care resulted in it having to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.
“Mistreatment of animals has no place in any decent society and this case is made even worse by the fact that the business held a licence specifically setting out how the animals it kept should be cared for. I am pleased that this case has been brought to court and hope that this sentence will send a clear message that this sort of conduct will not be tolerated in our city.”