MAGISTRATES in Barry this week decided that a woman who had her puppies’ tail docked acted out of ignorance rather than malice.

Thirty-year-old mum-of-two Danielle Jade Carmella Beacham admitted allowing the tails to be docked on her six Jack Russell terrier puppies, after a man she met in a park persuaded her it was in the best interest of the dogs.

Barry Magistrates gave Beacham – who paid £30 to a “Mr Gill” to have the procedure performed at her home in Holmes Street, Barry in August last year – a 24-month conditional discharge and fined her a total of £260.

Tail docking is contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and has been illegal to perform in the UK, other than by a qualified vet, since 1993.

The RSPCA, who brought the prosecution, had been seeking to recover £1,065 costs.

Prosecutor, Aled Walker told the court the “Mr Gill” had offered to perform the procedure and Beacham had known nothing about docking tails before this happened.

Defending, Simon Joseph said: “Mrs Beacham is not blessed with the sharpest mind and was persuaded this was the best thing to do.

“The disposal of the animals was advertised in a free ads publication and they were advertised as free to a good home.”

He added: “It was an offence committed out of ignorance rather than malice.

“It was done with the best of intentions to the animals.

“She thought she was doing something to their benefit.”

Chairman of the bench, Ian Hamer said they were satisfied the offence was down to misguidance and ignorance on her part.

Sentencing Beacham, he told her: “The fact that we have come down in favour of a conditional discharge is supported by your early guilty plea, and the fact that you have shown remorse for what you have done.”