Carmarthen Journal | September 16, 2015
The dog suffered injuries to its nose after being sent down a badger set
A FARM worker has avoided prison after admitting that he failed to seek treatment for his dog after forcing it to confront a badger near Llandysul.
Carwyn Jenkins, aged 23, of Rhydygwyn in Llanfarian, appeared before a district judge at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Wednesday.
He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to obtain veterinary care, and interfering with a badger sett.
The court heard how a dog was found with an injured nose and jaw when a warrant was executed at Jenkins’s home address.
The terrier was described as having half its nose missing, and officers could see directly into its nasal cavity. The injuries were believed to have been caused days earlier by fighting with wild animals, and enquiries found that local vets had not been contacted.
An image found on Jenkins’s mobile showed a terrier next to a hole with a badger visible. The picture also gave the location where it was taken on private land in Rhydowen, and evidence of human interference and digging was found when officers examined the site.
Richard Garner, defending, said: "My client is a young man caught up in something that was a foolish thing to do, particularly given his employment with animals."
He presented the court with references stating Jenkins was caring towards animals.
The case was originally listed for a trial before Jenkins’s guilty pleas, and the court heard that the investigation, legal costs and boarding charges amounted to £12,617.11.
District judge Richard Williams said the offences justified a custodial sentence, but it would be "very short" and unpaid work would enable Jenkins to put something back into the community.
He said: "The reason you did not have the dog treated was because a vet would have realised what was going on. So it was deliberate.
"The disturbance of the badger set is something that is clear to me, which you set about for the purpose of what some people refer to as sport."
He added: "The fact that you photographed what was going on suggests you took a certain degree of pleasure in it."
Jenkins was sentenced to 240 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay a £60 court surcharge. He was disqualified from keeping dogs for five years, and ordered to pay £4,000 towards the RSPCA costs.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: "The dog involved in this incident suffered terrible facial injuries. Luckily he has recovered and is now available for rehoming, but for other dogs used in this way, it sadly can be very different.
"I hope this case is a warning for people who insist on putting dogs on badgers for sport that we will catch up with them. It is heartbreaking that these dogs are put on these animals and are being ripped apart."
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