Wednesday, 11 January 2006, BBC News
A man blamed for taking foot-and-mouth disease to Ireland has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years and fined nearly £35,000 for cruelty.
John Walsh, 55, of Brampton, Cumbria, left nine puppies in sweltering heat on Weymouth quay, Dorset, to get a ferry to Jersey as a foot passenger.
Walsh was ordered to pay the RSPCA's legal costs, witness costs and animal boarding costs totalling £34,732.
He was also ordered to complete a 100 hour community punishment order.
John Walsh previously smuggled infected sheep into Ireland
Blandford Magistrates Court, Dorset, heard the dogs were only found after a parking attendant heard their whimpers.
Walsh had left the windows open about an inch, when he parked his Vauxhall Astra to catch the Condor fast ferry to meet prospective buyers of the dogs in Jersey.
A policeman's evidence described the heat coming from the car "like a sauna from a health centre" and that the puppies were "panting heavily".
The court had heard that Walsh had three previous convictions relating to animals.
Walsh had denied causing unnecessary suffering to the puppies by confining them in a car during hot weather, abandoning them in a way likely to cause unnecessary suffering and transporting them in a way likely to cause unnecessary suffering.
He was the man said to have brought foot-and-mouth disease to the Republic of Ireland in 2001 when he smuggled infected sheep into the country and was subsequently jailed for three months.
Marie Griffiths, RSPCA inspector in charge of the case, said outside court: "He is a man that shows total disregard for any animal.
"He sees them as monetary objects rather than as a living creature.
"In view of that, the RSPCA feels that he should not have animals in his care."
"Mr Walsh has shown no remorse throughout the whole proceedings and has shown a callous attitude to the animals in his care," she added.