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.
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