Individuals filmed using their dogs to fight with a badger
Three men and a youth have been prosecuted after rare surveillance footage showed a badger being deliberately set on by a pack of dogs.
David William Thomas, Jordan Alexander Houlston, Mark Wyn Morris and a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, were filmed by the RSPCA in the act of using their dogs to fight with a badger.
The sentencing occurred on Monday (5 February) following what has been described by the RSPCA as a ‘landmark’ case. RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs said that said that the incident was “coordinated and carefully planned cruelty”.
“This was a major and landmark investigation, in which the RSPCA caught a number of individuals red-handed in the act of using their dogs to barbarically fight with a badger,” he said. “Footage of this nature is extremely rare, but lays bare the sickening nature of this cruel and gruesome activity.”
The surveillance footage captured on 5 February 2017 shows the defendants as a badger is set on by a pack of dogs. The court was shown images of fake setts, which are used to hold a badger for baiting purposes, and animal skulls, believed to have been those of badgers or foxes.
Thomas of Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog, received an immediate prison sentence of 22 weeks and was placed under close supervision for one year. Houlston of Alexandra Road, Llandudno, was given an immediate prison sentence of 20 weeks and also placed under close supervision.
Morris, also of Cwm Bowydd Farm, was given a 10-week prison sentence and suspended for 12 months. The 17-year-old was handed a 10-month referral order, a four-year ban on keeping dogs, and ordered to pay £200 in costs.
“Badger baiting has been illegal for over 180 years, and it is sickening to find people still seeking to spend their time inflicting pain, suffering and misery on animals on this way. This was coordinated and carefully planned cruelty, involving dogs, badgers and foxes,” Mr Briggs continued.
“This prosecution will be a warning to anyone involved in badger baiting activity. If caught, the RSPCA will act, and will seek justice for the animals involved. Put simply, there is no room for this disgusting activity.”
All dogs involved in the case are now in the care of the RSPCA and are due to go forward for rehoming.
Image (C) RSPCA