‘Sickening’ RSPCA surveillance footage exposes cruelty of badger fight gang

David Thomas and Jordan Houlston were both locked up by magistrates at Llandudno after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a badger by causing it to fight with dogs.

Surveillance footage filmed by the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit in February 2017 caught dogs being set on a badger on film.

Another video, which was obtained from a device found at Houlston’s address and released by the RSPCA, showed dogs interfering with a badger sett.

In another clip, a fox is shown in a cage during a raid on Cwm Bowydd Farm in Blaenau Ffestiniog, which was jointly owned by Thomas and was used as the location for the offences.

In footage too graphic to show, which was obtained from a device found at Houlston’s address, a dog can be heard attacking a badger.

Thomas, of Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog, was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two foxes by keeping them caged close to dogs, causing the foxes to be terrified, and other animal welfare allegations.

A probation officer said the 51-year-old, who was jailed for 22 weeks, had been a huntsman for 32 years and a master of foxhounds.

He must pay £5,000 costs and was disqualified from having dogs for eight years.

Jordan Houlston, a hunt terrier man of Alexandra Road, Llandudno, was also convicted of ill-treating a badger, causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs, and failing to meet the welfare needs of seven dogs.

The 24-year-old was jailed for 20 weeks, banned from owning dogs for eight years, and ordered to pay £715 costs.

Marc Wyn Morris, 26, of Jones Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog, pleaded guilty to wilfully injuring a badger, being present at an animal fight and causing unnecessary suffering to a badger by causing it to fight with a dog.

He received a 10-week suspended prison term and has to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £615 costs. The disqualification from owning dogs was for four years.

A boy of 17 admitted being present at an animal fight and received a 10-month referral order.

He must pay £220 costs and was banned from owning or keeping dogs for four years.

RSPCA inspectors visited the farm with police on February 8, 2017, seized 23 dogs and found two foxes in cages. It is feared they had been caught for dogs to be set upon them at a later date.

At the same time, a warrant was conducted at Houlston’s Llandudno address, where a further eight dogs were seized.

At this address, a veterinary kit was found, including syringes and a selection of books – with one entitled Badger Digging with Terriers.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: "This was a major and landmark investigation, in which the RSPCA caught a number of individuals red-handed in the act of using their dogs to barbarically fight with a badger.

"Footage of this nature is extremely rare, but lays bare the sickening nature of this cruel and gruesome activity.

"Badger baiting has been illegal for over 180 years, and it is sickening to find people still seeking to spend their time inflicting pain, suffering and misery on animals in this way.

"This was coordinated and carefully planned cruelty, involving dogs, badgers and foxes.

"Sadly, badger digging remains a serious problem in our countryside. The RSPCA will not relent in bringing those involved in this cruel activity to justice, as demonstrated with this investigation, for which we’d like to thank North Wales Police for their support.

"This prosecution will be a warning to anyone involved in badger baiting activity. If caught, the RSPCA will act, and will seek justice for the animals involved. Put simply, there is no room for this disgusting activity."

All dogs involved in the case are now in the care of the RSPCA and are due to go forward for rehoming.


North West Hunt Saboteurs Association

07960 038230

You can also donate via the link above
Direct Action Against All Forms of bloodsports


One Reply to “‘Sickening’ RSPCA surveillance footage exposes cruelty of badger fight gang”

  1. Here we go again – why the hell isn’t it made mandatory for a lifetime ban for all those who abuse animals and the amount of jail time is risible. I really do despair and do wonder why I (and people like me) wasn’t invited to be a magistrate!

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