Colne thugs jailed for animal cruelty offences

Three Colne thugs have been sent to jail for their part in “sickening” animal cruelty offences.

Shaun Mullens (22), of Leach Street, Joshua Varey (24), of Duke Street, and Paul Ashworth (49), of Hawley Street, all appeared at Pennine Magistrates’ Court today.

Mullens and Varey both pleaded guilty to attempting to kill a badger, while Ashworth pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, namely a black cat. Ashworth had been recorded on a mobile phone camera trying to shake a terrified cat from a tree. Laughter could be heard in the background.

Footage was also shown in court of the badger attacks.

Ashworth was given a 76-day custodial sentence, and was disqualified from owning dogs for five years.

Mullens was handed a 114-day sentence, and was disqualified from owning dogs for ten years.

Varey received a 126-day sentence, and was disqualified from owning dogs for ten years.

The case had been brought forward by the RSPCA, with assistance from Lancashire Police.

Speaking outside the court following the sentencing, PC Nigel Keates said: “I think the sentence has been absolutely appropriate.

“These were sickening attacks on defenceless animals.

“I would appeal now for a little bit of calm and relief from anybody on social media. There has been a sentence, and the courts have done their duty.”

http://www.pendletoday.co.uk/news/colne-thugs-jailed-for-animal-cruelty-offences-1-6725497

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Joshua Varey previous conviction

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/9257029.Pendle_farmer_caught_rabbit_poacher_in_field/

Also

http://www.burnleyexpress.net/news/local/man-attacked-in-bed-1-1688066

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Charity steps up attack on cruelty after hunt members sent for trial by Crown Prosecution Service

1 September 2014

The League Against Cruel Sports today announced plans for a major boost in its fight against animal cruelty after its evidence led to the Crown Prosecution Service authorising criminal proceedings against members of two hunt groups.1reward pr

Welcoming the news, Chief Executive Joe Duckworth said the League would now boost its investigations of illegal hunting further with a major public appeal for information relating to illegal hunting to help catch individuals responsible for inflicting cruelty to animals.

As an added incentive, in certain circumstances the charity will also offer a reward of up to £1,000 for information which directly leads to a conviction under the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales, or the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002, in Scotland.

Joe Duckworth commented “Polling shows that the public are overwhelmingly opposed to cruelty to animals in the name of sport and they support the Hunting Act which came into force 10 years ago.

“Based on our evidence, nine summonses have been issued this year alone under the Hunting Act and we are now giving members of the public a chance to play their part in helping to end that cruelty.

“Our work relies on good intelligence such as when and where illegal hunting is taking place, and details of the individuals involved. We are appealing to anyone that may have information that could help us investigate this criminal activity and bring the perpetrators of this type of animal cruelty to justice."

The League, which was instrumental in securing the ban on hunting, works to expose and end cruelty to animals in the name of sport, with a major focus of its investigative work on illegal hunting. The charity’s team of investigators work to capture evidence of this, in order to bring prosecutions against those who continue to hunt wild animals for sport in defiance of the hunt ban.

Members of the public with information relating to hunting activities are being urged to report it via crimewatch, the charity’s website using the online form or by calling the confidential Wildlife Crimewatch line on 01483 361 108. Any criminal activity should also be reported to the Police on 101.

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Master and Huntsman of the Middleton Hunt, Tom HOLT faces a charge of Hunting a Wild Mammal with Dogs at West Knapton, Malton, North Yorkshire, on 19th February 2014, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004. A summons has been issued and the case is to be heard at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 5th September 2014.

Kennel Huntsman of the Middleton Hunt, Barry Lee ANDREWS faces a charge of Interfering with a Badger Sett near Bossall, North Yorkshire, on 12th March 2014, contrary to Section 3(c) of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. A summons has been issued and the case is to be heard at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on 12th September 2014.

Paul WHITEHEAD, Huntsman of the Lunesdale Foxhounds Limited, faces a charge of Hunting a Wild Mammal with Dogs on 18th February 2014, contrary to Section 1.

Terence POTTER, who is a Company Director of the Lunesdale Foxhounds Limited, faces a similar charge on behalf of the company as a body corporate, under the provisions of Section 10.

Summonses have been issued and the case is to be heard at Skipton Magistrates’ Court on 5th September 2014. The case is based on evidence supplied to the police by the League Against Cruel Sports.

The League is specifically looking for information and details relating to:

  • traditional hunts are due to meet (this can be individual dates/times or a ‘meet card’ giving a full listing)
  • individuals who are known to hunt wild animals illegally
  • artificial earths to encourage foxes for hunting
  • foxes being kept by hunt members to be released for hunting
  • any other information which could help identify instances of illegal hunting

All information reported by members of the public to the League Against Cruel Sports will be treated in complete confidence

Polling carried out by Ipsos MORI shows 80 per cent of the Great British public think that fox hunting should not be made legal again; 85 per cent think deer hunting should not be made legal again; and 87 per cent think hare hunting/coursing should not be made legal again. Ipsos MORI

http://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/press-releases/2014/sep/charity-steps-up-attack-on-cruelty-after-hunt-members-sent-for-trial-by-crown-prosecution-service

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Hunt saboteur Hospitalised after Being ridden down by Fox hunter

Latest news from the HSA:

The sab who was injured yesterday has 5 broken ribs but her spine is in tact thankfully. She’s in good spirits – could be the morphine. We will keep posting updates as we get them.

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Badger Trust court challenge rejected, but serious concerns remain over continuation of pilot culls

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29th August 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Badger Trust court challenge rejected, but serious concerns remain over continuation of pilot culls

The Administrative Court has today handed down its judgment in Badger Trust’s judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to continue the pilot culls without independent oversight.

In line with the precautionary approach adopted by the Secretary of State during the development and implementation of the policy, Badger Trust had understood from statements made by her predecessors that an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) would oversee, and analyse the results from, the pilot culls until a final decision was made on whether or not to roll out the culls to other areas.

However, despite the IEP finding that the first year of the pilot culls failed (by a significant margin) to achieve appropriate standards of both effectiveness and humaneness, the Secretary of State decided to continue the pilot culls with a view to a future roll-out, but without independent oversight to ensure such standards can actually be met. The Badger Trust therefore brought proceedings to prevent the Secretary of State from breaking her promise.

The Administrative Court has today found that, as a matter of law, the Secretary of State’s assurances did not amount to an enforceable legitimate expectation. However, the Court also rejected the Secretary of State’s attempt to argue that if there was a legitimate expectation she had properly considered whether she could resile from it.

Dominic Dyer, CEO of Badger Trust, commented:

“The Trust is considering its options in respect of an appeal against the Court’s decision. However, this judgment does not detract from the serious public concerns over the continuation of the cull, including the most recent leaks regarding potentially unlawful and unsafe activity undertaken by culling contractors during the 2013 culls. Given the indisputable failure of the 2013 culls, the still unresolved issues regarding safety and the significant uncertainty over the numbers of badgers to be killed in 2014, the only sensible option for the Secretary of State is to call a halt to these pilots, and the potentially unnecessary and inhumane deaths of hundreds of badgers.

“However, if she is not willing to do so, we call on Ms Truss to reinstate the IEP. As Counsel for the Trust, David Wolfe QC, observed during the hearing, the Secretary of State is not just moving the goal posts, but has banished the independent referee from the pitch. Whatever happens during the second year of the culls, in the absence of the IEP, it will be impossible to trust any findings supporting a wider roll out, not least because this is already clearly the preferred option of the Secretary of State."

Ends

Contacts:

Dominic Dyer CEO Badger Trust Tel: 07876 596233
Jack Reedy Badger Trust – Media Adviser Tel: 07751 731107 or 01564 783129

Call Us: 08458 287878
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Badger Trust, P.O. Box 708, East Grinstead, RH19 2WN
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Company Registered in the UK No. 5460677

Hunt saboteur Hospitalised after Being ridden down by Fox hunter

A hunt saboteur has been rushed to hospital after being ridden down by a member of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Fox Hunt during an evening cub hunting meet at the hunt kennels in Charlton Horethorne, Somerset.

Two hunt saboteurs were standing on a public road watching the hunt in a field when the attacker rode at them from behind, throwing the female saboteur up in the air with the force of the blow before she was dragged along the ground. An ambulance was immediately called but was stopped from reaching the casualty by hunt vehicles who deliberately blocked the road. An air ambulance also attended the scene. The female has been taken to hospital with a possible collapsed lung and back injury. The hunt then callously carried on hunting before returning to their kennels for a BBQ.

The attack was filmed by a vehicle mounted camera and this footage will be handed over to the police so that the cowardly attacker can be identified and arrested.

Cub hunting or “cubbing” takes place before the official hunting season when the hunts train young hounds to kill by setting them on naïve fox cubs who are easy quarry. Any of the young hounds who don’t show an inclination to hunt are killed by the hunts. Cubbing has been illegal since 2005 but is till common practice by most hunts.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale have a long history of violence towards hunt saboteurs but this is a particularly cowardly attack even by their standards. Cubbing is a vital time of the hunting season for the hunts as they are training young hounds to kill. Disruption by hunt saboteurs can affect their whole season which is why they often react with violence at this time of year.”

http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/index.php/news/press-releases/542-hunt-saboteur-hospitalised-after-being-ridden-down-by-fox-hunter

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Badger cull targets announced for Gloucestershire and Somerset

26 August 2014

A target number of badgers to be killed in this year’s pilot cull has been announced.

Authorisation letters for the cull have been issued by Natural England. A minimum of 615 in Gloucestershire and 316 in Somerset need to be killed.

In 2013, 921 badgers were killed in Gloucestershire and 940 in Somerset in a bid to tackle TB in cattle.

The companies carrying out the cull have not announced when it will start this year.

A maximum number of badgers that can be culled this year has been set at 1,091 in Gloucestershire and 785 in Somerset.

Original population estimates for badgers in Gloucestershire have now been revised by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to 1,904 in Gloucestershire and 1,876 in Somerset.

The four-year pilot cull aims to kill 70% of the initial population to test how effective, humane and safe a cull can be.

An extension to the cull in 2013 in Gloucestershire was ended early as it had not met its target, and the Somerset pilot failed to meet its target even after a three-week extension.

Government ministers and the National Farmers’ Union believe culling badgers will curb TB in cattle. Opponents say shooting the animals is not effective and inhumane.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-28942468

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North Wales Police carry out raids in Merseyside over alleged badger offences

Aug 14, 2014 18:15
By David Powell

A 25 year old Liverpool man was arrested in connection with disturbance and digging of a badger sett in the Holywell area in April

Police from North Wales investigating people suspected of disturbing badger setts today swooped on addresses in dawn raids in Liverpool.

There were 30 officers including colleagues from Merseyside in the cross border Operation Bayleaf.

Police officers from the Force’ Rural Crime Team (RCT) executed a number of search warrants in the Merseyside area and arrested a 25 year old Liverpool man in connection with offences committed earlier this year in Flintshire.

Two other young men have been bailed until next week.

Sergeant Rob Taylor said “This morning, and assisted by colleagues from Merseyside Police, five ‘Wildlife and Countryside Act’ search warrants were executed in the Merseyside area and a local man arrested in connection with disturbance and digging of a badger sett in the Holywell area in April this year.

“A number of items have been seized including cash and mobile phones and the man will be questioned later today.”

Sgt Taylor said that the officers had been up at 3am, and were in Liverpool by 5am.

He said: “It shows the commitment and determination to clamp down on alleged offenders no matter where they may be.

“This morning’s action demonstrates that regardless of their origins, the Rural Crime Team will relentlessly pursue suspected offenders to help achieve our goal of keeping our rural communities safe.

“Over the last 12 months we have seen a steady decrease in rural crime and with the continued support and vigilance from the local community I’m sure we can continue on that path.”

Sgt Taylor reminded the community to remain vigilant at all times. He suggested that everyone takes steps to ensure that their buildings and vehicles are locked and secured and to report suspicious behaviour to police immediately.

You can ring police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The Rural Crime Team officers can be contacted via by dialling 101 or by e-mailing Ruralcrimeteam

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-police-carry-out-7617443

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College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt members charged with illegal fox hunting

Three members of the College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt, including the Joint Master and Huntsman, have been charged with illegally hunting a fox.

Joint Master, Timothy Wyndham Basil Smalley, Huntsman, Ian Robert McKie and Kennel Huntsman, Andrew John Proe, are each charged with hunting a wild mammal with dogs, contrary to Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.

The case is based on evidence supplied by the League Against Cruel Sports and further investigations carried out by Northumbria Police, in relation to an incident alleged to have taken place during an advertised hunt meet at West Kyloe Farm, near Lowick, Northumberland on 27th February 2014.

All three defendants have pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges. The case has been listed for trial at Berwick Magistrates’ Court on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th October 2014.

http://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/press-releases/2014/july/college-valley-and-north-northumberland-hunt-members-charged-with-illegal-fox-hunting

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Three Men Guilty of Hare Coursing

On Wednesday 16th July three men from outside the county were found guilty at Lincoln Magistrates Court of offences relating to Hare Coursing.

Shane Fury and Andrew Lee, both aged 23 and from Manchester, and Anthony Basford (30), from Stoke, pleaded not guilty before District Judge Stobart in relation to an incident near Glentworth on 30 October 2013.

A local gamekeeper saw the men coursing with dogs and when police officers from the Operation Galileo team arrived, two of the men attempted to run off. They were challenged and detained by police, including a police dog handler, Sgt Moon. A dead hare was found in a hedge bottom where they were located.

In court the men claimed they were simply in the county with a view to buying a dog but had taken a wrong turn, and got out to walk dogs. The claim was described by Judge Stobart as ‘a complete cock and bull story’.

All three men were disqualified from driving for 6 months, ordered to pay costs of £600 each, and were fined. Fury and Basford were fined £300 each and Lee received a fine of £150.

Inspector Andy Ham said: “Last year’s hare coursing season has long finished but cases are still going through the courts. These men decided to chance their arm by pleading not guilty and coming up with the kind of excuses regularly heard by officers on the Operation Galileo team. In this case the Court evidently shared our view that scenic as Lincolnshire may be, groups of men really don’t travel to our county from around the UK just to walk their dogs. The financial penalties and inconvenience posed by disqualification from driving, will stay with them longer than any financial gain or pleasure derived from a day out trespassing on land to kill a hare”.

http://www.lincs.police.uk/News-Centre/News-Releases-2014/Three-Men-Guilty-of-Hare-Coursing.html

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United Utilities kills 60 Canada geese ‘because they were attacking staff’

Wednesday 9th July 2014

BIRD lovers have reacted furiously after United Utilities killed 60 Canada geese because they were attacking staff.

United Utilities bosses said the birds have bitten several staff at the firm’s head office in Lingley Mere, Warrington, and one woman even had to visit her GP after she was attacked.

The company, which supplies Bolton’s water, carried out the overnight cull – during the breeding season – on June 26 under what a spokesman described as "strict compliance with a licence".

But keen birdwatcher David Kennedy said the water giant has taken the "easiest option" killing the birds and it was "particularly cruel" to take action when goslings had just been born.

He added: “There were all kinds of options open to them like catching the birds and releasing them somewhere like Pennington Flash or putting up railings around the paths.

“Geese can be a nuisance but if they didn’t want that problem on site then why include two lakes in the first place?

“I have been told there are none left now but when the birds are back in five or six years what will they do next?

“They need a plan going ahead that doesn’t involve slaughtering birds.”

A petition calling for United utilities to "pledge to never kill Canada geese again" has already reached more than 400 signatures online.

A source, who did not want to be named, said that while some staff did not like the birds others regularly fed them and have been outraged by the news.

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “It was a difficult decision to reduce the numbers of Canada geese at Lingley Mere, and we appreciate it wasn’t something everyone would agree with, but it was important we took action to encourage other wildlife to thrive on site and stop people being injured.

“Several staff have been hurt after being bitten by the birds, which was very worrying as we have a children’s nursery on our land.”

The spokesman added the geese were also "damaging the environment" with bird poo, leading to high levels of phosphate in the lakes and increased algae, preventing pond weed from growing, which lowers oxygen levels and can kill fish.

He added: “Our aim is to increase the biodiversity of Lingley Mere and the lakes and widen the variety of wildlife here and we would never be able to achieve this with such a high level of Canada geese on site.”

Andrew Taylor, director of animal rights group Animal Aid, said United Utilities had to be held to account.

He added: "The company are offering no real information what measures were taken to minimise suffering.

"The idea these birds presented a threat to people and had to be killed for defecating is an extreme and absurd over-reaction."

http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/11328857.United_Utilities_kills_60_Canada_geese__because_they_were_attacking_staff_/

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