Poachers banned from West Lancashire after hunting hares with dogs

18 Apr 2016

Christopher Hayward, James Callaghan and Jamie Dunning were all handed a criminal behaviour order

Thirty-five-year-old Christopher Hayward from Wrexham, North Wales, 38-year-old James Callaghan and Jamie Dunning,30, both from Chester have all been banned from West Lancashire

Three men from North Wales and Cheshire have been banned from entering the whole of West Lancashire after being given a Criminal Behaviour Order under the Hunting Act.

This is only the second time in Lancashire that a CBO has been issued under this piece of legislation.

Lancashire Police were also the first force in the country to obtain such an order in December 2015 against three men from Merseyside.

Thirty-five-year-old Christopher Hayward from Wrexham, North Wales, 38-year-old James Callaghan and Jamie Dunning,30, both from Chester, appeared at Ormskirk Magistrates Court earlier this month and were all given a two year CBO after being found on the Halsall Estate, with four dogs hunting brown hares, which is a protected mammal.

They were caught by the gamekeeper and PC Leivers, the Community Beat Manager and Wildlife officer for the area when they tried to leave the area after being seen hunting hares.

The order stops the three men from entering the borough of West Lancashire with a dog, or, being in company with anyone with a dog, until January 2018.

It covers a larger area than the previous CBO order granted and prevents the trio from accessing some of the most frequently ‘coursed’ land in the county.

The men are known to travel the country in pursuit of the criminal activity and police believe this order may assist other forces if the three are prosecuted elsewhere.

PC Ivan Leivers said: “These three men had regularly and routinely entered West Lancashire with the express intent of hunting a protected mammal – the brown hare – with their dogs.

“Now if they continue to commit these offences, they face the very real possibility of being given a custodial sentence.

“Other poachers and coursers should be warned – we will apply for these orders wherever and whenever we can and when possible, as in this case, the vehicle used to transport them will be confiscated at the time of offence.”

The area is predominantly arable farmland and part of the ‘mosses’ of West Lancashire.

The Halsall estate operates a successful pheasant and partridge shooting estate and enjoys high profile clients.

This estate and the neighbouring Lord Leverhulme estate have always worked and supported the police and their help and involvements have allowed the police to get these orders. Members of the local community gave statements describing the distress and issues caused by the offenders and were pleased to see the order granted.

You can report any breach to your local neighbourhood policing team at Ormskirk on Tel: 01695 566051 or e-mail ck.npt.

Alternatively you can call 101 or visit www.lancashire.police.uk/doitonline

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/poachers-banned-west-lancashire-after-11204020

PS – Photo attached is 35-year-old Christopher Hayward from Wrexham, North Wales, 38-year-old James Callaghan and Jamie Dunning, 30, both from Chester have all been banned from West Lancashire

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Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports

Men shamed for hare coursing

Friday 15 April 2016

Two men convicted of carrying out a cruel blood sport near Driffield have been named and shamed by police.

Humberside Police said Michael Johnson, of Chapel Street, Evenwood, Bishop Auckland, was slapped with a two-year-criminal behaviour order for hare coursing at Kelp.

Johnson, along with a second man, Luke Widdowfield of West View Road in Hartlepool, were stopped by officers following a report of harecoursing on Lynesykes Road in Kelk near Driffield of October 11 2015. Johnson and Widdowfield were reported for Poaching Offences.

In addition to the incident in October 2015 a further two cases where Johnson was convicted in February 2014 of day poaching in Lincolnshire and convicted of Hunting a wild mammal in the East Riding in April 2014 were considered.

The two-year Criminal Behaviour Order prohibits Michael Johnson from acting in an anti-social manner, remaining in a group of two or more people in an outdoor space, or entering the Humberside Police Force area unless travelling to the port or airport.

Johnson was given a £500 fine, ordered to pay £250 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

Widdowfield was fined £400, ordered to pay £250 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.

Wildlife Officer PC Julie Turrell said, “This is a very good result and shows that the courts take very seriously the appalling act of harecoursing. I would say to anyone who comes into the Humberside area to commit crimes against wildlife that we are ready to disrupt their activities and when we have evidence we will always prosecute.

“Hare coursers are often engaged in illegal betting involving large sums of money, and would be prepared to use violence if disturbed so if anyone sees hare coursing taking place we would advise them not to approach the criminals, but contact us immediately.

“Calls from the public really do make a difference, it provides important intelligence that helps us coordinate our resources to combat crime more effectively.

“Farm Watch & Country Watch groups now operate throughout all the Humberside Police Area. These groups are the eyes and ears of our rural community. People entering our county will soon been picked up by the groups and text messages circulated regarding their activity.”

Hare coursing facts

What is hare coursing? Hare coursing is the pursuit of hares using hounds. Participants spread in a line across a field and disturb the hare from its home. They then release their dogs to give chase. A bet is made on which dog will catch or turn the hare first with large sums of money changing hands.

Is hare coursing legal? No. The Hunting Act 2004 made hare coursing illegal. It is illegal to participate, attend, knowingly facilitate or permit land to be used for a hare coursing event. If you believe hare coursing is happening on your land then contact your local police force. Anyone convicted of the offence can be fined up to £5,000 by a magistrates’ court.

What are the most obvious signs of hare coursing? A group of vehicles parked in a rural area perhaps by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, on a farm track or bridle path. They may contain evidence of dogs inside – such as muddy paw prints and dog fur.

What should you do if you suspect hare coursing on your farm? If you see an event taking place on your farm, call the police immediately by calling 101. Do not approach the participants yourself.

http://www.driffieldtoday.co.uk/news/men-shamed-for-hare-coursing-1-7856013

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Three badger baiters jailed after blood is found coated on car and clothing

Posted on 5th April 2016

Three men have been jailed after admitting a charge of badger baiting – despite no badger carcass being found.

Brothers Kyle and Daniel Green, along with their accomplice Martin Skinner, were stopped by police in a 4×4 while driving through Darley Dale.

In the rear of the vehicle were two badly injured dogs, which needed urgent veterinary treatment.

The men were also found to have what was believed to be blood on their hands and clothing, while a substantial amount of blood was found in and on the outside of the 4×4.

All three were arrested on suspicion of badger baiting and bailed while samples of the blood were sent off for forensic testing, along with hair found in the dogs’ jaws.

The analysis identified that the blood and hair belonged to a badger and the men were then charged, despite a carcass not being recovered.

Kyle Green, 24, of Armside Road, Maltby, Rotherham; Daniel Green, 27, of Askern Road, Toll Bar, Doncaster; and Martin Skinner, 29, of Headingley Way, Edlington, Doncaster, were all charged with wilfully injuring a badger.

They were also charged with two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, which related to the two dogs.

The Green brothers and Skinner initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed their pleas on the first day of a trial at Chesterfield Justice Centre on Monday.

They have now been jailed for three months and are banned from keeping dogs for five years. The dogs were confiscated and have been re-homed.

PC Andrew Shaw, who led the Derbyshire police investigation, said: “Derbyshire is a haven for wildlife and unfortunately certain members of society choose to target the wildlife we have in our county.

“The sentences these men have received, together with the police investigation, show just how seriously we treat wildlife crime and I hope it will deter others from committing similar acts of extreme cruelty in the future.”

The trio’s Isuzu Trooper 4×4 was stopped in Bank Road, Matlock, in May last year after police followed it from Darley Dale.

As part of the subsequent investigation, the blood found on the clothing of the men and the vehicle, together with the hairs, were sent to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture for testing.

The forensic work was partially paid for by the Forensic Analysis Fund, which offers financial support to police forces seeking to carry out tests during a wildlife crime investigation. The RSPB, Defra, the WWF and Trace all contribute to the scheme.

PC Emerson Buckingham said: “This is a great result and will send a message to others who are thinking of coming to Derbyshire to commit these types of offences.

“We work hard to tackle wildlife crime in Derbyshire but we rely on the help of the public to identify crimes and catch offenders.

“I would urge anyone with information on any type of wildlife crime to call Derbyshire police on 101 and ask to speak to a wildlife crime officer.”

Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles, made tackling wildlife crime one of his priorities.

He said: “This case demonstrates that those who seek to commit crimes against wildlife will be brought to justice and they may receive a serious custodial sentence. It’s a really good piece of work.

“It also made me reflect that when I first became PCC I was always being asked, and indeed I am still asked, why I included wildlife crime in my police and crime plan for Derbyshire.

“I think this case is the perfect answer to that question.”

http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/News-and-Appeals/News/2016/April/05-Apr-Three-badger-baiters-jailed-after-blood-is-found-coated-on-car-and-clothing.aspx

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Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports

Remember Tom Worby

Remember Tom Worby

Remember Tom Worby

23 years ago, on the 3rd of April 1993, Tom Worby, a 15 year old hunt saboteur attending his first foxhunt protest, was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire Fox Hunt‘s hound van in an incident all too reminiscent of the killing of Mike Hill two years before.

After a successful day’s sabbing, the hunt had boxed up and sabs were making their way back to the meet down a narrow, high-banked lane. As the hound van came up behind them, revving its engine, sabs scrambled for the roadside; however Tom’s jacket became snagged in the vehicles wing mirror and he was dragged some distance before he managed to gain a foothold on the van’s running board. Although he banged on the window the van kept going, and when Tom finally lost his grip, he fell onto the road and under the truck’s wheels. His head was crushed by the rear wheels of the vehicle and he died shortly afterwards.

No action was taken against the driver of the hound van, 53-year-old huntsman Alan Ball.

Tom Worby, never forgotten – Cambridgeshire foxhunt, never forgiven.

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Police charge Jed Forest hunt staff with illegal hunting

30 March 2016

Damning new video evidence suggests Scotland’s hunts are still trying to pull the wool over our eyes –

Police in the Scottish Borders have arrested and charged two men from the Jed Forest Hunt with illegal hunting after viewing shocking new video footage filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland.

The footage appears to show the Jed Forest huntsmen repeatedly sending their hounds after fleeing foxes. Police Scotland say that the two men, aged 23 and 65, will appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court in May.

The video footage was obtained by League Against Cruel Sports Scotland as part of a new investigation into Scotland’s hunts. Throughout the 2015/16 hunting season six out of the ten Scottish hunts were covertly filmed by League investigators. The animal welfare charity recorded these hunts appearing to behave in a way that has not been legal since the Scottish hunting ban came into force in 2002.

The footage was potentially so incriminating that the most blatant incidents were handed over to the police, resulting in the Jed Forest hunt staff being charged on the 22nd March with illegal hunting.

The League’s new video shows hounds apparently being urged on by hunt members to chase foxes, hunts seemingly pretending to flush to guns with no guns in use and hounds following scent in the open with no guns.

The new video footage is being released to coincide with the Scottish government’s review of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act, which aims to establish whether the law provides a sufficient level of protection for wild mammals in Scotland. The League is making a comprehensive submission to the review which includes over 100 hours of this damning video evidence.

The Scottish government decided to review the Act last year after it saw the League’s previous footage from last year’s 2014/15 hunt season. That footage revealed highly questionable behaviour from half of Scotland’s hunts, including absolutely no sign of any legitimate ‘flushing to guns’ – which is what Scottish hunts claim to be doing.

Robbie Marsland, Director of League Against Cruel Sports Scotland said: “We applaud the police for acting so quickly to arrest and charge members of the Jed Forest hunt. Our latest footage strongly suggests that many of Scotland’s hunts are trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

“The audacity of the hunts is breath taking. In last year’s League video, their apparent contempt for the law shocked people across Scotland. Our new video footage suggests that nothing has changed.

“If anything, their behaviour is even more brazen than before.”

Mr Marsland added: “This is not an issue of poor police enforcement. It is all too easy for Scottish hunts to ride a coach and horses through this well-intended law.

"We are convinced that hunts are using flushing to guns with a full pack of hounds in an attempt to provide a false alibi. A number of simple changes to the law would put an end to the spectre of packs of hounds being spurred on to chase and kill foxes across the Scottish countryside."

From October 2015 to March 2016 the League Against Cruel Sports investigators covertly filmed six hunts in the Borders and Fife.

Ends

Please contact the League’s Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email press for any image or comment requests

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Link to League’s new video exposé of Scottish hunts during the 2015/16 season

2. Polling by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland shows that 84% of people are opposed to fox hunting being legal in Scotland.

3. Poll details: Scottish Public Opinion Monitor – November 2015. Results are based on a survey 1,028 respondents (adults aged 16+) conducted by telephone. Fieldwork dates: 9th – 16th November 2015 The League’s expose of Scottish hunts from the 2014/15 season here: http://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/press-releases/2015/may-15/scottish-hunting-video

4. Watch the League’s 2015 footage of the Buccleuch hunt here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqbe6xFnR4s

https://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/press-releases/2016/mar/police-charge-jed-forest-hunt-staff-with-illegal-hunting

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Man given four months in jail for hare coursing on farm near Perth

24 March 2016

A Tayside man caught hare coursing has been jailed for four months for taking part in the illegal bloodsport.

Mark Reid, 45, Teviotdale Avenue, Dundee, was also banned from owning a dog for six years when sentenced at Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis heard that Reid, who was found guilty after a trial alongside his son, John Stewart, 21, still denied any wrongdoing.

The trial had heard that Reid and Stewart had set their lurcher dogs on wild hares.

The incident happened at West Cultmalundie Farm, Tibbermore, by Perth, on November 2.

The rigid carcases of the two dead hares were shown during the trial of the men.

One witness giving evidence at the court said he saw two lurchers “pulling a hare apart”.

Robert McElwee told the trial: “The people with them were further away.

“Before that we had seen them for some time with the dogs. They were lined out across the field looking for hares.

“We knew what it was – coursing hares.”

He said one of the men shouted “video that” as they took footage which was later passed to the police and shown during the trial.

Mr McElwee said: “That’s when the two dogs were pulling the hare to bits.

“I saw one lying dead at the side of the road.”

PC George Westwood said: “I saw two persons running off with dogs across the field. They were wearing Barbour-style jackets.

“We collected two hares from the stubble field near the steading. They were fresh, they were still limp.”

Using a dog to chase a hare was made illegal in Scotland in 2002 by the passing of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act. Those who participate in hare coursing do not have permission to be on the land.

They will often spread in a line across a field to flush out hares. When a hare runs they will release their dogs to give chase. Once dead, the hare’s body is discarded.

Yesterday solicitor Douglas Williams said: “Mr Reid’s position is he had a dog but it was on a lead at all times.

“Mr Reid doesn’t accept that he was responsible for any involvement in this activity.

“He comes from a background where this activity has been normalised.”

In handing down a prison sentence, Sheriff Foulis told Reid: “The whole tenor of the comments of the plea in mitigation is indicative of someone who quite frankly doesn’t consider he’s done anything wrong.

“I have considerable reservations that any fine would be paid.”

Last month Stewart, Kiltarlity, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and banned from keeping dogs for two years.

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/perth-kinross/man-given-four-months-in-jail-for-hare-coursing-on-farm-near-perth-1.930543

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Prominent foxhunt supporter pleads guilty to assaulting two Kilkenny farmers

16/03/2016

John O’Reilly (48), of Rathielty, Rathmoyle, Co Kilkenny, was fined €2,250 having pleaded guilty to the assault of brothers, Hubert and Norman Daniels at Rathielty on November 5, 2013.

Defence counsel Elaine Morgan told Kilkenny District Court yesterday there was a fractious history between farmers and the two complainants which, she said, was borne out by the wearing of video cameras by the complainants while working their machinery.

The defendant’s property, she said, was down a laneway, while the complainants own two fields on the opposite side of the laneway.

She said video evidence of the incident has been viewed worldwide with thousands of hits.

But Ms Morgan said that while the national media had been notified that the defendant is a member of a fox hunt, she told Judge Colin Daly that her client has never been a member of Kilkenny Hunt.

Garda James McGuill told the court that the incident arose on the roadway where it was alleged that the defendant pushed Norman Daniel with his hand, causing him to fall and injure his wrist. He said a particular feature of the case was that video footage was supplied by the complainants.

Following the conclusion of evidence to the court, Philip P Lynch, of Mallardstown, Callan, Co Kilkenny, who is chairman of the Farmers Against Foxhunters and Trespassers organisation, requested permission to address the court, which was refused by Judge Daly.

Following further interruptions, Mr Lynch was removed from the court.

Judge Daly fined O’Reilly €1,500 for the assault on Norman Daniel, and a further €750 fine for the assault on Hubert Daniel.

He told the parties that they would have to find some way of resolving their difficulties to avoid being back in court. "This is an unfortunate conflict between neighbours," he added.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/watch-video-footage-of-irish-farmers-assault-on-two-brothers-viewed-worldwide-34543892.html
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Waste of space denies dogfighting offences after raid on his home

A man accused of dogfighting offences told animal welfare officers the terriers enjoyed it and one "was still wagging its tail as it died".

Tony Barbara, 51, was arrested after the Scottish SPCA raided his home in Newmilns, East Ayrshire, and found two injured pit bulls and gear linked to the underground activity.

Inspector Hannah Medley said Barbara made a voluntary statement after being interviewed and spoke "freely and openly", using dog fighting terminology and explaining the terms and rules.

Ms Medley told Kilmarnock Sheriff Court: "He told us he had been dog fighting for the last 20 or 30 years and had only seen one dog die, and that when a dog was dying it was still wagging its tail when it died."

She said Barbara described the "etiquette of dog fighting" and used its terminology, such as scratch lines, pits and coming up to scratch.

"He was talking about dog breeds and his fascination with bull breeds", she said.

Barbara also allegedly told Ms Medley he knew vets who would teach owners how to treat injuries and medicate dogs.

He denies breaching the Dangerous Dogs Act by keeping the two female pit bull terriers, Kira and Jackie, at his home and elsewhere in November 2014,

Barbara also denies keeping dogs for fighting, having syringes and medications, possessing breaking sticks to stop fights and causing the animals unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate care and treatment.

Further charges of threatening or abusive behaviour by shouting, swearing and aggressive conduct were also denied.

The court heard items seized from his home included a mobile phone containing images of dogs and a picture of a person’s back tattooed with the words Gamequest Kennels, established 1987.

Breaking sticks, which are inserted into dogs’ mouths to stop fights, were also recovered, the trial was told. Barbara claimed these were for ornamental purposes and had not been used since the 1980s but is later said to have admitted using a breaking stick when his two dogs were "playing together".

Kira and Jackie were taken away in a Scottish SPCA ambulance to be examined at a vet clinic.

Under interview, Barbara gave "no comment" responses when asked why he had veterinary medication used specifically to treat dog injuries and syringes containing milky liquid.

He also refused to comment on whether or not the dogs had been identified as American pit bull terriers, which are strictly regulated, and attributed scars and injuries to "dives into bushes after rabbits".

Barbara admitted being banned from keeping dogs in England and Wales for ten years following a previous criminal conviction. The trial continues.

http://stv.tv/news/west-central/1346734-dogfighting-accused-tells-inspector-the-animals-enjoy-it/
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Bradford scum appears in court charged with illegally hunting deer and badgers

A BRADFORD man has appeared in court charged with illegally hunting deer and badgers and training a dog for fighting another animal.

Ben Wilson, 26, appeared before Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court yesterday in connection with 13 animal welfare charges in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA charity.

Wilson, formerly of Sunbridge Road, Bradford, and now of Hill Lands, Wyke, Bradford, spoke only to confirm his name and his address.

His lawyer, Clive Rees, indicated that Wilson will be pleading not guilty to all the charges.

A trial, which has yet to be fixed, is expected to last two or three days and will take place at the magistrates’ court.

Five charges relate to ‘wilfully taking a badger’ on five separate occasions between July 30 and August 16 last year.

Three of those alleged incidents happened in Thornton, Bradford, with one allegedly taking place in Kent and another at an unspecified location in England and Wales.

Four charges relate to the alleged taking/killing/injuring a deer on four separate occasions in August last year.

One of the incidents relating to deer is said to have taken place in Thornton, Bradford, on August 16. One incident is alleged to have taken place in Kent on August 29.

The charges facing Wilson have been brought under the Deer Act 1991 and relate to roe deer, sika deer and fallow deer.

Wilson is also charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a male black and white bull lurcher between September 18 and 25 last year at High Street, Thornton. The charge relates to an alleged failure to provide veterinary care for the dog’s infected, inflamed injuries.

Wilson is also charged with failing to protect a bull lurcher from pain and suffering between August 19 and September 25 last year at an address in High Street, Thornton.

The 13 charges relate to the care of nine bull lurcher-type puppies at an address in High Street, Thornton. It is alleged that on September 25 last year Wilson failed to meet their need for a suitable environment.

The final charge relates to keeping/training an animal for use in connection with an animal fight. It is claimed that between July 30 and 25 last year, at an address in High Street, Thornton, Wilson kept or trained a black and white bull lurcher-type dog, for use in connection with an animal fight.

Wilson, who appeared in court in a black hoodie, black jogging bottoms and black trainers, was granted unconditional bail by magistrates.

A plea and case management hearing will be held on April 25 at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court. That hearing is expected to be heard before a district judge. A trial date is expected to be fixed for later this year.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/14343805.Bradford_man_appears_in_court_charged_with_illegally_hunting_deer_and_badgers/

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Fury as animal cruelty charges dropped against gamekeeper

15 March 2016

FURIOUS animal welfare chiefs have hit out at the Crown Office after it dropped the case against a gamekeeper accused of killing animals with cruel snare traps.

The gamekeeper was due to stand trial after “harrowing” footage was supplied showing a fox trapped in a snare which had died of dehydration.

A video and a catalogue of “extremely graphic” images were obtained by animal welfare charity OneKind during a visit to Glenogil Estate, in Angus, on 26 September 2014.

The gamekeeper was facing charges of failing to inspect a snare at the which killed a deer in August of that year and failing to keep a record of finding a deer in a snare.

It was also alleged that he failed to check another snare for more than 24 hours, during which time a fox became trapped and died of dehydration.

The charges were brought under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which prohibits certain methods of killing or taking wild animals and requires inspection of snares every 24 hours, with removal of any live or dead animals that are found.

A field research officer from the charity visited the estate on that date to gather evidence of legal snare use.

During his visit he found two foxes caught in snares, both of which had been trapped around their abdomen.

The charity said one of the foxes was dead and one was still alive, clearly distressed with a large wound where the snare had cut into its flesh.

The Scottish SPCA was called out to the estate where the fox had to be humanely dispatched, due to the severity of its injuries.

Libby Anderson of OneKind said: “We are appalled that this case is not to proceed given the eyewitness evidence, the horrific video footage and the detailed follow-up investigation carried out by the Scottish SPCA.

“Had our research officer not been on the estate on that particular day, who knows how much longer the live fox would have continued to suffer in a manner which is totally unacceptable by any reasonable standard.”

No charges were brought against the gamekeeper in relation to the fox which had to be humanely dispatched.

It is understood there was insufficient evidence to show the fox had been trapped for longer than 24 hours.

Libby Anderson added: “It is intolerable that the suffering this fox endured should be considered legally acceptable.

“The video footage is utterly harrowing and illustrates an animal which is clearly suffering both physically and mentally.

“OneKind has long called for an outright ban on all snares and sadly we feel these calls have been justified by this case.”

http://www.scotsman.com/regions/dundee-tayside/fury-as-animal-cruelty-charges-dropped-against-gamekeeper-1-4071847?

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