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Four convicted after ‘landmark’ badger baiting trial
Image of the fake sets which are used to hold a badger for baiting purposes.

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

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
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New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”