Animal welfare concerns see Somerset Golden Retriever Experience shut down

An investigation by the RSPCA discovered that standards had deteriorated since the premises was first granted a licence in May 2023.

An animal attraction in Somerset where people can spend time with golden retriever dogs has closed after its license was revoked by Somerset Council.

The Golden Retriever Experience in Dunster near Minehead had its licence withdrawn on the grounds of protecting animal welfare after breaching licence conditions and regulations.

The centre says it is "dumbfounded" by the decision and will appeal.

Licensing Officers visited the Golden Retriever Experience after receiving information from the RSPCA.

The council says standards had deteriorated since the premises was granted a licence in May 2023, resulting in a number of licensing breaches.

The Golden Retriever Experience saw its licence withdrawn on the grounds of protecting animal welfare.

After a short investigation into evidence provided by the RSPCA, Somerset Council has rescinded its licence with immediate effect.

A Somerset Council spokesperson said: "This case shows that failing to look after animals and breaching licence conditions has consequences and that council staff will act quickly."

Somerset Council licenses under animal welfare legislation makes sure animals:

  • Are fed and watered

  • Kept in a suitable environment

  • Can exercise and express normal behaviour

  • Retrieve veterinary treatment when needed.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “RSPCA officers attended the business location on May 28 alongside Avon & Somerset Police who were carrying out a warrant.

“An investigation is now ongoing so we can’t go into any further detail at this time.

“We’re grateful to people who report their concerns to us but we cannot comment any further as we are unable to discuss ongoing enquiries about specific individuals and what action may be taken.

“We understand how frustrating that is for animal lovers but releasing information could prejudice a future investigation or could lead to us being fined.”

A Golden Retriever Experience spokesperson said: "We are completely dumbfounded and will be appealing this decision."