24 April 2015
By Euan Stretch
Three dogs were appallingly wounded when they were forced into underground fights with badgers.
Steve Alston, who trained his Patterdale terriers on a treadmill, filmed the dogs down badger setts.
Police found them with injured snouts and jaws.
The dogs’ ordeal only came to light when police visited the home of Steve Alston in Littlebourne, near Canterbury, Kent, because his wife’s mobile phone malfunctioned and repeatedly dialled 999.
A court heard the wounds were consistent with bites from badgers or foxes.
Alston, 49, of Littlebourne, Kent, admitted providing dogs for badger and fox baiting and failing to provide veterinary treatment.
Sentencing was adjourned.
District Judge Justin Barron, sitting at Dover, said: “You were using dogs to fight wild animals.
"Your culpability is high as you were going out to kill wild animals.
"This is the highest level of seriousness and I am actively considering a custodial sentence."
The RSPCA said: “Animal fighting involving dogs and wildlife is an extremely serious form or premeditated cruelty.
"The RSPCA is dedicated to investigating such allegations and bringing these matters before the courts for them to consider."
Badger baiting was banned in the UK in 1835.
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Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports