Opinion Former Article

RSPCA: Yorkshire man jailed for ‘sickening’ badger baiting offences

Anthony Lee filmed fights between dogs and badgers

A West Yorkshire man has been jailed for 23 weeks after magistrates expressed their horror at sickening footage seized from his mobile phone of dogs being set on badgers.

Anthony Lee was also banned from keeping animals for life after he was sentenced for three charges of causing an animal fight, under section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

One member of the bench at Bradford Magistrates Court wiped away tears yesterday (Tuesday) as she watched footage of badger baiting, seized from the 23-year-old.

Lee, of Coronation Way, Keighley, admitted three offences – each related to a trio of clips were found on his mobile phone. He was sentenced to 23-weeks custody for each offence, each to run concurrently.

RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport said the footage was some of the worst he had seen of badger baiting. In one clip the blood curdling cries of the badger are clear as the animal is attacked by dogs in a field, goaded by Lee.

Inspector Lamport said: “This is a horrific example of what badger baiters get up to, and the sickening levels of needless animal cruelty they are responsible for.

“These people deliberately go out into the British countryside with the sole purpose of causing horrific injuries to one of our most iconic wild animals. It is premeditated animal cruelty carried out for the twisted pleasure of those people involved.”

Several warrants were carried out at addresses around the Keighley area on 9 February last year, following information obtained from Facebook. Two men were arrested, however Lee attended the police station of his own accord later the same day while RSPCA inspectors were still present.

He was interviewed and his phone was seized, while two bull lurcher type dogs were found at his address. Both dogs had injuries consistent with badger baiting.

An examination of Lee’s phone revealed it contained three video clips of his two dogs being set on a badger, and a badger dug from a sett. One of the voices heard on the clips was suspected of being that of Lee.

Subsequently, during a hearing at Bradford Magistrates Court on 28 March this year, he pleaded guilty to three charges of causing an animal fight to take place, contrary to section 8 (1) of the Animal Welfare Act.

The court gave Lee a three week discount on the maximum sentence available as credit for his guilty pleas.

 

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Notes to editors

A link to download case footage is available by contacting the RSPCA press office on 0300 123 0244 or by emailing press@rspca.org.uk. Please note, the footage shows distressing scenes of animal cruelty.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – the UK’s leading animal welfare charity. We rescue, rehabilitate and rehome hundreds of thousands of animals each year. We offer advice on caring for all animals and campaign to change laws that will protect them, which we will enforce through prosecution.

Our work relies on your support, so get involved or donate today. You can make a difference. www.rspca.org.uk/donate

 

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288 Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
Email: press@rspca.org.uk Website: www.rspca.org.uk

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