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Trader fined over rabbit's teeth

A trader has been fined for trying to sell a rabbit at a market, despite its overgrown teeth.

David Shipton admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the rabbit, which he was found attempting to sell at Stratford-upon-Avon livestock market.

The rabbit had such long teeth that they restricted its ability to eat.

Shipton was prosecuted by Warwickshire County Council trading standards after officers found the rabbit on a routine visit to the market last November.

The 65-year-old admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the rabbit by failing to provide suitable attention to its teeth, failing to take steps to ensure the needs of the animal were met, and permitting an unfit rabbit to be exposed for sale.

Shipton, of Henhurst, Burton upon Trent, was fined £130 and ordered to pay costs of £70 and a £15 victim surcharge at Leamington Justice Centre last week.

The trader said he acknowledged he should not have put up the rabbit for sale with long teeth but he did not believe that he had been cruel, Warwickshire Trading Standards said.

Janet Faulkner, head of Warwickshire Trading Standards Service, said: "Our animal health officers work with livestock owners and sellers to ensure that their animals' welfare is properly attended to.

"In most cases we can deal with problems with guidance and advice but where traders consistently fail to take their responsibilities seriously, we have the option to take legal action."

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