Dog owner who forced his pets into horrific underground fights with badgers is jailed
11 May 2015
By Euan Stretch
Three Patterdale terriers owned by Steve Alston, 49, had their noses and jaws ripped apart after being sent down badger setts and filmed.
A man who used dogs to illegally bait badgers and foxes has been jailed for 160 days after a court heard how the animals suffered horrific injuries.
Three Patterdale terriers owned by Steve Alston, 49, had their noses and jaws ripped apart after being sent down badger setts and filmed as they fought with the powerful animals.
The dogs’ ordeal only came to light when police visited Alston’s home in Littlebourne, near Canterbury, Kent, in November 2013 because his wife’s mobile phone malfunctioned and repeatedly dialled 999.
Officers found three dogs with wounded snouts and jaws.
Police passed the case to the RSPCA and when they searched his house they found pictures and a treadmill..
Magistrates heard the injuries were consistent with being bitten by a badger or a fox.
Alston admitted providing dogs for badger and fox baiting and failing to provide proper veterinary treatment for the injured terriers at hearing last month.
He has now been jailed for 160 days and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs by a judge at Folkestone magistrates court in Kent.
He was also banned from keeping animals for life.
Inspector Cliff Harrison, from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said : “Using terriers to hunt and fight wild animals is a sickening form of deliberate and premeditated animal cruelty.
“It isn’t just the animals targeted that suffer sickening injuries, but also the dogs used in this barbaric activity.
“These injured dogs will have been put underground in the likes of badger setts and fox earths, where they would have endured the sort of encounters that left both animals with huge trauma wounds.
“No animal deserves to be used and treated in this way. I am pleased that the court clearly took a similarly strong view and has prevented the defendant from owning a dog ever again.”
The court heard how when police raided Alston’s home they found many photos of injured dogs along with a number of diaries in which Alston described in detail multiple fights between dogs and foxes and other wild mammals over several decades.
Eight terrier type dogs, including adults and juveniles, were seized by police and later signed over to the RSPCA.
Seven of the eight dogs seized as part of the investigation have now successfully been rehomed by the RSPCA.
North West Hunt Saboteurs Association
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ManchesterHuntSabs
Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports