A WOMAN who illegally imported sick border collie puppies from a puppy farm in Ireland and passed them off as a home breed has been ordered to pay £1,630 for running a 'pet shop' without a licence.

Helen Moorey of Ashbury, near Wantage, was fined £600 and told to pay a a £30 victim surcharge and £1,000 costs.

The sentence comes after the 55-year-old, of Idstone Road, was found guilty of breaching Section 1 of the Pet Animals Act 1951 at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, November 2.

During the trial, six witnesses gave evidence that Moorey had been involved with puppy sales last year and this year.

Given the frequency that puppies were available for sale and the fact Moorey refused to let anyone into her property to meet the puppies’ mother, it was decided this was a commercial operation and required a licence.

Moorey, who is already serving a jail term for fraud relating to the operation, did not give evidence at this trial.

In sentencing, the District Judge took Ms Moorey’s limited means into account, along with other recent convictions for fraud relating to the sale of puppies, for which she was serving a prison sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Vale of White Horse District Council following an animal welfare complaint investigation by the council’s environmental protection team.

Vale cabinet member for environmental health Elaine Ware said: "We take the welfare of animals very seriously. It is extremely important that anyone who makes a living from their sale is properly licensed and maintains the standards required."