A man from Penrith and another from Skipton have been fined £200 each after hunting a fox with a dog and causing a dog to enter a badger sett.
John Joseph Bowman, 19, of Lakeland View, Greengill, Penrith and William Smith, 27, of Keighley Road, Skipton today (Monday 19 May 2008) pleaded guilty to both charges before Carlisle magistrates.
The court heard how the two men were arrested by police officers from Cumbria Constabulary on land near Towcett in Cumbria in March 2007 after they were disturbed by a member of the public whilst digging in to a badger sett. Also with them were three terrier-type dogs and a lurcher-type dog, all of which were in a muddy condition. Officers contacted wildlife crime experts in the RSPCA’s special operations unit shortly after apprehending the men.
Both men were prosecuted by the RSPCA under the Hunting Act 2004 after admitting their motivation for visiting the land with the dogs had been to find a fox. They were also prosecuted under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 by the Society for causing a dog to enter a badger sett.
Carlisle magistrates today fined both men £200 and ordered Smith to pay £200 costs and Bowman to pay £100. No deprivation order was made against the dogs.
RSPCA chief inspector, Ian Briggs, said: “The sentences that have been passed in this case sends out a clear message that crimes like these will not be tolerated. Hunting or baiting wild animals is cruel and unacceptable and has no place in modern society.”