Tag Archives: badgers

Cranage, Cheshire: Ian McGrath

#TheList Ian Gordon McGrath, born 03/01/1975, of The Paddocks, Sandy Lane, Cranage, near Holmes Chapel, Crewe CW6 8HR – left 35 cow carcasses to decay at his dairy farm, left six other cows in such poor condition they had to be put down

Cheshire dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot
Dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot

McGrath admitted causing unnecessary suffering after a 2018 inspection of Grange Farm, Over Peover, Knutsford, by Cheshire East Council found some animals had no access to food or water.

Attempts had also been made to cover some of the 35 dead carcasses at the farm, which is now run by people who have no connection to this case.

The court heard the dairy farmer McGrath had suffered mental health problems since his father died in 2014.

Dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot

Rachel Cooper, prosecuting, said that an experienced dairy farmer like McGrath must have known his actions were causing suffering to his animals.

But Adrian Roberts, defending, said McGrath had suffered with mental health problems since his father died in 2014.

He was also under financial pressure because of bovine tuberculosis in his herd and the falling price of milk.

District Judge Nicholas Sanders described the case as “appalling” and sentenced McGrath, who also admitted failing to dispose of dead cattle properly, to 18 weeks in jail which was suspended for 18 months.

He also banned McGrath from owning or keeping livestock for life but this can be reviewed in five years.

McGrath must also pay more than £17,000 in fines and costs, and carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

BBC News

Additional info: until June 2018 Ian McGrath was a director of badger cull company Environment Clear Ltd.

Dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot.
McGrath is caught on camera by badger welfare campaigners setting a cage trap near an active badger sett

In 2017 McGrath, who is also said to be a keen bloodsports enthusiast and supporter of the Cheshire Hunt, was caught on camera setting a cage trap near an active badger sett.

McGrath is said to be an expert on the spread of bovine tuberculosis and was a member of DEFRA’s ‘eradication’ team.

In 2015 he featured on a video released by the National Farmers Union on the subject of bovine TB.

More information on the companies involved in the UK badger cull can be found on the Innocent Badger website.

Wishaw, North Lanarkshire: Conran Connor

#TheList badger baiter Conran Connor, born 01/12/1998, of 61 Gateside Road, Wishaw ML2 7SB – kept dogs for animal fighting

Conran Connor was jailed for 5 months after making three pets brutally attack badgers
Conran Connor was jailed for 5 months after making three pets brutally attack badgers

Conran Connor was sentenced to 21 weeks in prison and given a 15-year ban on owning and/or being in control of any animal after admitting to keeping and training his three dogs for animal fighting.

A Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries
A Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries

Connor was caught when a Patterdale terrier was discovered with horrific injuries consistent with being caused by badger baiting.
The dog’s injuries were so severe that he had to be put down by vets.

Knives were then found in Connor’s home with badger blood and DNA during a Scottish SPCA investigation.

The probe revealed Connor had direct links to badger baiting.

Wildlife abuser Conran Connor from Wishaw, Scotland

He dug up badger setts in woodland in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, in preparation for illegal and bloody fights where the animals are set upon by dogs.

Connor's dog had injuries consistent with animal fighting
Connor’s dog had injuries consistent with animal fighting

A Scottish SPCA undercover inspector said: “We became aware of Connor following an enquiry into an abandoned Patterdale terrier, found in the Carnwatch/Carluke area, which had injuries consistent with badger baiting and fighting.

“The dog had to be euthanised due to the extent of his injuries.

“Our investigation led to the home of Connor and with a warrant, we discovered evidence to suggest he was engaging in animal fighting.”

The inspector added: “We recovered proof that Connor had held conversations specific to purchasing dogs for, and discussing, animal fighting.

“Other items recovered from the house included numerous magazines and books relating specifically to hunting and fighting dogs with wild animals, hunting clothes, devices used to lure foxes called fox callers, a torch identical to one found during the excavation of a badger sett and knives, many of which were subsequently found to have badger blood and DNA.

“We were able to gather the DNA evidence thanks to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

“Multiple items found matched those in Connor’s possession of him posing with dead wild animals and his three dogs”.

Image recovered from badger baiter Conran Connor's phone showing him in a hole in the ground with his dog

The SIU inspector added: “Other images confirmed his presence at badger baiting sites and showed his own dogs at the entrance to a badger sett.

“There were also men digging into the ground at night in woodland. This is an activity carried out as part of the badger baiting process. Other pictures include a dog with injuries consistent with badger fighting.

“We welcome the sentence handed down to Connor. He engaged in depraved acts that showed his complete disregard for animal welfare.

“He caused extreme levels of suffering to the wild animals involved and put his three dogs at great risk of injury or death, and failed to get any veterinary treatment when they were injured.”

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating animal fighting offences and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity.

Sentencing: 21 weeks in prison. Banned from owning any animal for 15 years.

Scottish Sun
Motherwell Times
Scottish SPCA News

Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf: Mathew Howell Jones

#TheList Mathew Howell Jones, born 30/05/1981, of Jones Street, Tonypandy CF40 2BY – for badger baiting and failing to take his injured dog to the vet

Mathew Howell Jones of Tonypandy, South Wales, was given a suspended jail term after interfering with a badger sett and failing to seek treatment for his badly injured dog
Mathew Howell Jones was given a suspended jail term after interfering with a badger sett and failing to seek treatment for his badly injured dog.

Mathew Howell Jones pleaded guilty to one Protection of Badgers Act 1992 offence and one Animal Welfare Act 2006 offence.

The court heard that the father-of-three was caught using dogs to interfere with a badger sett on January 20, 2019.

Jones also admitted failing to get urgent veterinary treatment for his dog, with the black terrier struggling with serious injuries.

The unnamed dog had alopecia and skin lesions, caused by sarcoptic mange – with a wound to the eye consistent with a tear injury to the lower lid. Despite these problems, Jones had not taken him to the vet.

A veterinary professional said such injuries are “commonly seen following fighting” and would be “consistent with a face-to-face encounter with another dog or a fox or a badger”.

One of badger baiter Mathew Howell Jones's dogs
One of badger baiter Mathew Howell Jones’s dogs

The dog – one of four initially seized as part of the investigation – was signed into the RSPCA’s care and ultimately put up for rehoming.

Police found blood-stained overalls in Jones’ van, though he denied ownership of the clothing. Testing of the blood confirmed it had come from a badger. RSPCA officers later found evidence of one large, freshly dug and back-filled hole at an active badger sett.

Mathew Howell Jones of Tonypandy, South Wales, was given a suspended jail term after interfering with a badger sett and failing to seek treatment for his badly injured dog

Chief inspector of the RSPCA’s special operations unit Ian Briggs said: “Interfering with a badger sett in this way is a very serious wildlife crime, and clearly had serious possible impacts both for the dogs involved and wildlife.

“One poor dog in this case was struggling with injuries that clearly needed urgent veterinary care. It’s very worrying that the injuries sustained by the dog are – according to veterinary opinion – consistent with fighting, and a face-to-face encounter with wildlife, such as a fox or a badger.

“This case is yet another example of the RSPCA’s efforts to tackle crimes against Wales’ wildlife.”

Sentencing: five-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months; ordered to pay a total of £1,520. Disqualified from keeping all animals for four years.

Jones was also deprived by the court of all possessions related to the interference with a badger sett – including locating devices and netting.

Tivy-Side Advertiser

Fleetwood, Lancashire: Jack Starkey

#TheList badger digger/baiter and bloodsports fanatic Jack Starkey, born 12/10/1990, of Bold Street, Fleetwood FY7

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Father-of-two Jack Starkey admitted two offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and one under the Animal Welfare Act.
He was due to stand trial for a number of offences under both Acts but pleaded guilty before the trial was set to commence.

Starkey was caught badger baiting in Bluebell Wood in Denton, Greater Manchester on January 3, 2019.

Two dog walkers came across Starkey and three other men digging a badger out of its sett. The men then let a dog attack it.

The walkers called police and a local animal welfare group, who found the badly injured badger.

The badger that was attacked by Jack Starkey's dog
The badger that was attacked by Jack Starkey’s dog

Sadly, the badger’s injuries were so serious he couldn’t be saved.

The following day, Chris Heyworth, an officer from the Special Operations Unit – a team of specialist officers tasked with investigating serious and organised animal crime such as animal fighting and wildlife offences – was contacted by Lancashire Badger Group who had been made aware of the incident.

Inspector Heyworth went to the scene, which was located just 70 yards from a road.

He said: “Unfortunately I’ve seen many disturbed badger setts and examples of badger digging in my 28 years as an RSPCA officer and it was clear this sett had been recently dug.

“In badger digging, a terrier is typically sent into the sett wearing a tracking collar and will corner the badger so the people above ground can dig them out.

“A large hole is dug – commonly referred to as a crowning point – and the badger is pulled out often by a large bull lurcher type dog.

“A seriously injured badger was discovered at the scene the previous day and taken to a vet but, sadly, had to be put to sleep due to the severity of the wounds.”

Information led to a suspect and the RSPCA approached Lancashire Police for assistance executing a warrant on February 12, 2019, at an address in Hodder Avenue, Fleetwood. Three dogs were found inside, two with extensive scarring and one with an open sore on his leg.

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Occupants at the address said the dogs belonged to Starkey and he was contacted for interview.

Inspector Heyworth added: “We took DNA swabs from the badger’s wounds and these were later compared with DNA taken from the three dogs seized from Mr Starkey.

“Two were ruled out but results showed that a rare type of DNA – found in only one in 100 dogs – which was found on the badger was also present in the third dog.”

Badger baiter Jack Starkey from Fleetwood, Lancashire, UK

Starkey was charged with offences of attempting to kill a badger, digging a sett and causing suffering to one of the dogs in his care.

Starkey, who has links with the travelling community, eventually pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

The dogs remain in RSPCA care and will now be rehomed.

Inspector Heyworth added: “I’d like to thank Lancashire Police, Lancashire Badger Group, High Peak Badger Group and Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) for their assistance.

“It will send out a message to those who continue to persecute badgers within the county and further afield.”

Sentencing: 16-week suspended jail term; 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 hours of rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £1,115 costs. Banned from keeping dogs for eight years.

Blackpool Gazette
Lancashire Telegraph

Bodmin, Cornwall: Scott Milne

#TheList Scott Milne, born 24/02/1977 of 2 Higher Coldrenick Cottages, Helland, Bodmin PL30 4QE – illegally shot nearly 30 badgers outside of culling season and kept their carcasses in freezers.

Scott Milne from Bodmin, Cornwall, UK, illegally shot 29 badgers outside of culling season
Scott Milne

Scott Milne, owner of a field sports business named Cornish Country Pursuits, was arrested when police, forensics officers and firefighters raided a farm as part of an investigation into suspected wildlife crime and food hygiene offences.

The force swooped on a unit on an industrial estate in the Roche area on July 25, 2019, and spent several hours carrying out a thorough investigation in conjunction with Cornwall Council, Natural England and the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

A raid was also conducted at the same time at Milne’s home address.

Milne was later charged with wilfully killing 33 badgers, possession of 37 dead badgers and failing to comply with conditions of a firearm certificate (not storing firearms securely).

He pleaded guilty to all three charges, although admitted killing only 28 badgers, which was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Alison May, prosecuting, said eight badger carcasses were found in a freezer at Milne’s home. A shotgun, two rifles and rounds of ammunition were also found inside Milne’s vehicles, which were unlocked.

At the Roche industrial unit officers found 29 badger carcasses inside a number of freezer units, as well as canisters of vermin control substance which were not properly kept, leading to the involvement of firefighters in the operation.

Wildlife killer Scott Milne owns Cornish Country Pursuits

Milne, who has been operating a field sports business for the past decade, admitted killing 28 of the badgers, which had died as a result of gunshot wounds.

After examination, it was found that some of the other badger carcasses in Milne’s possession had severe injuries consistent with a road traffic accident.

The court heard that Milne is licensed to shoot badgers during the cull season, but Milne admitted that the 28 badgers were shot outside of that time period, when he was not acting under his licence.

In police interview, Milne explained that his intention was to submit them during cull season for payment “to balance the books”.

Defending Milne, Michael Green said: “This is an unusual case in many ways. Mr Milne has built up an excellent relationship with nearby farmers, who have used him to control vermin and manage estates and farms.

“For landowners to allow someone with a firearm on their land, there is an element of trust there.

“He felt a pressure to meet badger cull targets to keep his licence, which contributed to him making the stupid decision to shoot badgers outside the cull period.

“It was also a lapse of judgement not to secure the vehicle [with the firearms inside] instead of bringing everything inside.

“The impact of this on his business will be catastrophic and his family will have to make considerable changes to make ends meet.

“Everything is changing for him. He knows he will lose his firearm certificate and that will have a considerable financial impact on him having to readjust.

“He has learnt a lesson from his arrest, his interview and appearing in court. That will continue to affect him. He was taking a chance and clearly took the wrong decision.”

Sentencing Milne, the chairman of the magistrates’ bench told him: “We were concerned with your reckless behaviour concerning storage of firearms and the potentially serious consequences for other people around.

“Although you were licensed to cull badgers these actions were done entirely outside of any licence period.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £322 in total.

CornwallLive

Gainsborough, Lincolnshire: Ryan Smith

#TheList badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith, born 06/07/1993, of 3 Noel Street, Gainsborough DN21 2RY

Badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith from Gainsborough
Badger baiter Ryan Michael Smith from Gainsborough

Smith, who has previous convictions for violence and spent time in prison, pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett and attempting to kill a badger when he appeared before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how Smith was among three people who were spotted by a gamekeeper on land near Beckingham, Nottinghamshire.

Accomplices Dale Shields and Murphy Thorne were sentenced separately.

The gamekeeper suspected the trio were badger baiting – which is where a dog is sent into a sett to flush out the badger and attack it for the handler to then dig the badger out and kill it or take it away for it to be killed at a later date.

Police were alerted and Shields and Thorne were arrested close to the scene. Smith was arrested by police on the same day away from badger sett. He initially denied the offences but changed his plea ahead of a trial.

Officers found a six-foot hole had been dug into the badger sett and there were spades nearby. A net which is often used to capture badgers was also found.

Two dogs, wearing radio collars, were also seized and were taken to a nearby vets in Retford for treatment as they had facial and dental injuries. One dog was in a collapsed state at the scene due to exhaustion.

The RSPCA were alerted to the incident and inspector Keith Ellis began an investigation.

He called the help of an expert badger witness who said the badger sett was active and had been disturbed. No dead badger was recovered but Inspector Ellis said it is possible the badger had died in the sett.

A veterinary expert who examined both Patterdale Terriers said the facial wounds were consistent with them been involved in a fight with another animal of a similar size and stature.

Inspector Ellis said: “The gamekeeper said he could see the men jump into a six-foot hole which they had dug down into the badger sett so he called the police.

“When they attended the scene it was clear that the sett had been interfered with and there were spades nearby.

“The dogs were wearing radio-collars which are used so the owners can locate where they are underground and when the dogs locate the badger the handlers dig down and usually kill the badger.”

In mitigation, Smith said he had ‘tagged along with the other two’.

The forfeiture of the dogs into RSPCA care was ordered and both are doing well. They are due to be re-homed soon.

Sentencing: 18-week jail sentence suspended for two months; ordered to pay £415. Deprivation order on his dogs. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Gainsborough Standard

Ayr: Mark Cuthbert

#TheList Mark Cuthbert, born 07/03/1977, of 82 Thornyflat Place, Ayr KA8 0NE – set his dogs on wildlife including badgers; bought cats online to use as live bait for his dogs; failed to get vet treatment for his dogs’ fighting injuries

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

Mark Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs for the purpose of an animal fight and killing a cat at home and at another premises.

Cuthbert used the selling website Gumtree to purchase the cats – with many owners believing their animals were going to a safe home.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit (SIU) received intelligence in March 2018 that Cuthbert had dogs for animal fighting. The SIU obtained a warrant to search Cuthbert’s address and, upon inspection, found his pets had injuries consistent with animal fighting.

They also suspected he had been self-medicating his dogs to avoid drawing attention to his illegal activities.

Investigators seized an electronic device that contained video and images of animal fights. The clips included Cuthbert’s dogs killing badgers and domestic cats.

Objects in the footage matched animal fighting paraphernalia discovered at his home. Among the items seized were tracking collars, nets, live animal traps, syringes, superglue, and pet carriers.

DNA analysis of these supported the case that many of the items were used for animal fighting.

The dogs involved in the case were black and white Patterdale terrier, Billy, and two brown female Patterdale terriers known as Digger and Tally.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland pictured outside court
Coward: Mark Cuthbert pictured outside court

Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs, cats and a rat for an animal fight contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a), for procuring cats for the purpose of animal fighting and arranging, participating and causing animal fights to take place under Section 23 (2) of the Act.

Convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert from Ayr, Scotland

Commenting on the investigation and court case, a Scottish SPCA undercover special investigation unit (SIU) officer said, “This is a truly horrific case of animal cruelty, where we suspect dozens of animals have suffered mentally and physically at the hands of Mark Cuthbert. His inhumane treatment of animals is completely unacceptable.”

“We investigate reports of animal fights every week and the imagery and videos we discovered on his phone are some of the most depraved and upsetting we have seen. One harrowing video shows the three dogs attacking a domestic cat in a field which is fighting for its life. It’s clear the cat was caused horrendous suffering and many of the cats he purchased will have suffered long, torturous deaths.

“Cuthbert had been picking up the cats for his dogs to attack from the online selling site, Gumtree.

“After contacting Gumtree, we found correspondence between Cuthbert and people who had listed their cats on the site which led us to believe large numbers of cats were uplifted from pet owners who trusted their cats were going to a good, safe home.

“As well as the cats he purchased under false pretence, his own dogs have been treated appallingly. When we visited Cuthbert, two of his dogs had very obvious facial injuries and scars to the face, nose and jaw. Digger had a healed injury to the lower lip which had caused a v-shaped deformity and Billy was very aggressive when approached.

“If you are using an online service to find a new home for, or sell, your pet, please be vigilant and ensure your pet is going to a safe environment. If you are suspicious, do not continue with the sale and notify the Scottish SPCA as soon as possible.”

The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating animal fighting offences and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity. All information shared with the Scottish SPCA can be treated with confidentiality and can be reported to the animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

Sentencing: ten months’ imprisonment. Ten-year ban on owning or keeping any animal.

Scottish SPCA News
STV News
Scottish Sun

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Additional information: Mark Cuthbert’s long-term live-in partner is Wendy McIlloney, born 28/02/1970. They have two older children together and she has others from previous relationships.

Wendy McIlloney
Mofher and grandmother Wendy McIlloney lives with convicted animal abuser Mark Cuthbert.

McIlloney makes no secret of the fact that she also enjoys hunting and neighbours have said that she accompanies Cuthbert on hunting/digging trips with their dogs.

Disturbingly, it is alleged that she procured cats on her boyfriend’s behalf. As yet, no charges have been levelled against McIIloney.

The pair are also backyard breeders of Staffies and lurcher-type dogs.

Gainsborough, Lincolnshire: Murphy Thorne and Dale Shields

#The List badger baiters Murphy James Ian Thorne, born 16/04/1997 of 5 Grey Street, Gainsborough DN21 2PS and Dale Shields, born 13/03/1997 of 3 Laburnum Avenue, Gainsborough DN21 1ET

Badger baiters Dale Shields (top right) and Murphy Thorne of Gainsborough and one of their injured dogs.
Badger baiters Dale Shields (top right) and Murphy Thorne of Gainsborough and one of their injured dogs.

Gainsborough men Murphy Thorne and Dale Shields pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett and attempting to kill a badger, when they appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how the pair were among three people who were spotted by a gamekeeper on land near Beckingham, Nottinghamshire, on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 3pm.

Badger baiter Dale Shields from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, UK.
Badger baiter Dale Shields from Gainsborough.

The gamekeeper suspected they were badger baiting – which is where a dog is sent into a sett to flush out the badger and attack it for the handler to then dig the badger out and kill it or take it away for it to be killed at a later date.

He alerted the police who arrested Thorne and Shields close to the scene and the court heard how Thorne told police: “I don’t get paid for doing it, but do it as a sport and it is something I enjoy”.

A six-foot hole had been dug into the badger sett and both men had spades. They also had a net which is often used to capture badgers.

Badger baiter Murphy Thorne from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire UK
Badger baiter Murphy Thorne

Two dogs, wearing radio collars, were also seized from the men by police and were taken to a nearby vets in Retford for treatment as they had facial and dental injuries. One dog was in a collapsed state at the scene due to exhaustion.

The RSPCA were alerted to the incident and inspector Keith Ellis began an investigation.

He called the help of an expert badger witness who said the badger sett was active and had been disturbed. No dead badger was recovered but Inspector Ellis said it is possible the badger had died in the sett.

A veterinary expert who examined both Patterdale Terriers said the facial wounds were consistent with them been involved in a fight with another animal of a similar size and stature.

Badger baiter Dale Shields from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, UK.
Badger baiter Dale Shields

Inspector Ellis said: “The gamekeeper said he could see the men jump into a six-foot hole which they had dug down into the badger sett so he called the police.

“When they attended the scene it was clear that the sett had been interfered with and there were spades nearby.

“The dogs were wearing radio-collars which are used so the owners can locate where they are underground and when the dogs locate the badger the handlers dig down and usually kill the badger.”

A third man, who was arrested by police on the same day, denied the offences and his trial will take place at a later date.

The forfeiture of the dogs to the RSPCA was ordered and the animal charity will re-home them.

Sentencing: 18-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months; ordered to each pay costs and charges totalling £415. Five-year ban on keeping dogs.

Gainsborough Standard

Greenock, Inverclyde: Patrick Carter

#TheList Patrick Carter, born 17/11/1999, of 30 Lansbury Street, Greenock PA15 2NR – filmed his brutalised dogs ripping wild animals apart in a series of horrific animal fighting videos

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.
Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.

Carter has been branded ‘barbaric’ after admitting to training his three dogs to attack and kill foxes and badgers and taking them on sickening hunts.

The thug’s vile cruelty — which took place over at least six months — was finally exposed after concern for the dogs was reported to the Scottish SPCA.

Investigators found multiple videos on Carter’s phone showing him and others goading their dogs to fight with foxes and drag badgers from their setts.

One piece of footage showed faceless individuals using spades to hit a doomed badger, as other participants in the barbaric “sport” urged them to allow the dogs to finish it off.

In another sickening video, a badger is pinned in place while dogs attack it.

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.
Patrick Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his pets’ shocking injuries and instead proudly showed them off.

Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his injured pets despite them suffering serious injuries in battles with badgers.

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit officer said: “The footage and pictures we uncovered are gut-wrenching.

“The animals he set his dogs on would have endured terrible suffering before they were killed.”

Carter’s dogs, a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross called Laddie, and lurchers Max and Murphy, have now been successfully rehomed.

During the investigation officers uncovered conversations between Carter and a pal discussing animal fighting as well as the result of a recent hunt.

Items associated with animal fighting, including a hunting lamp and used nets, were seized in a raid on his home.

The probe revealed that callous Carter regularly made Laddie, Max and Murphy fight wild animals and the dogs had also suffered severe injuries.

The undercover officer said: “Whilst his dogs appeared to be in good general health when we searched his property, Laddie had severe facial injuries consistent with animal fighting and Max had scarring to the jaw area and his leg.

“On further examination, Laddie and Max were found to have scarring and deformities within the mouth and nose consistent with previous severe traumatic injuries.

“Multiple videos of animal fighting were found on Carter’s personal devices, featuring two lurchers matching Max and Murphy’s description. All of the videos found were incredibly disturbing to view and the animals involved were clearly in great distress and suffered the most horrific end to their lives.

“Over the animals’ screams, voices can be heard in the footage goading and encouraging the dogs to tear the animals apart.”

The investigator said: “Badger baiting and animal fighting are far more common than people would think and anyone engaging in this barbaric activity is inflicting unimaginable pain on the animals involved.”

Sick urban hunter Patrick Carter filmed his dogs ripping apart badgers and foxes.

Carter is a known associate of Sean Ward, who was jailed for seven months in 2018 and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after his activities were discovered by the Scottish SPCA.

Carter pleaded guilty to keeping or training dogs for the purpose of an animal fight between February 6 and July 3 last year, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Sentencing: 225-hour community payback order; 6-month curfew; one-year’s supervision. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years.

Daily Record

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Alternative address for Patrick Carter: 80 Mackie Avenue, Port Glasgow PA14 5AY.

Duns, Scottish Borders: Alan Wilson

#TheList gamekeeper Alan P Wilson, born c. 1958, of Henlaw Cottage, Longformacus, Duns TD11 3NT – killing dozens of wildlife on Longformacus Estate

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders kept a kill list and dumped 1000 animals into a stink pit designed to attract birds of prey and other animals, which Wilson is suspected of shooting.

Wilson admitted nine charges including killing goshawks, buzzards, badgers and an otter.

The offences were committed on the Longformacus Estate in the Borders between March 2016 and June 2017.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
One source said that Alan Wilson was hellbent on killing anything that moved

The court ruled Wilson was responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife, including protected species. Investigators found animal corpses including otters, badgers, foxes, birds of prey and more when they searched Henlaw Wood in 2017.

A captive eagle owl which the Scottish SPCA suspects was being used as a live lure on birds of prey who were subsequently shot and killed was also discovered at Wilson’s residence. In 2018, Wilson was fined £400 and banned from keeping birds of prey for ten years for failing to ensure the welfare of the eagle owl.

After an investigation which involved experts from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigation unit (SIU), RSPB and Police Scotland, Wilson was found to have used techniques including illegally set snares and unlawful items such as banned pesticides and gin traps to trap and kill wildlife.

A land inspection also found ‘stink pits’, where dead animal carcasses are left to attract other wildlife. These ‘stink pits’ were surrounded by illegally set snares. Animal remains, including mammal skulls, were recovered.

investigators believe Wilson slaughtered thousands more animals.

One source claimed he was hell-bent on killing “everything that moved” except game birds on the estate that were being bred to be shot by wealthy clients.

One kill list found in Wilson’s home catalogued 1,071 dead animals – including cats, foxes, hedgehogs and stoats.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species

Sheriff Peter Paterson said the offences merited a jail term but he felt he was unable to impose one due to guidelines against short-term sentences.

“The sentencing options open to me at the moment do not reflect society’s views,” he added.

The court was told Wilson had pledged to no longer work as a gamekeeper and was now employed cutting trees.

Police welcomed the sentencing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at the end of what they called a “complex inquiry” which had been a “large-scale” investigation.

“The illegal killing of birds of prey and protected species cannot, and will not, be tolerated, nor will the inhumane use of illegal traps and pesticides,” said Det Con Andy Loughlin.

An undercover Scottish SPCA investigator described it as a “despicable case of serious and systematic crimes to indiscriminately remove wildlife from an estate”.

“The sheer volume of dead wildlife discovered is truly shocking,” the investigator added.

“We will never know the total number of animals which perished due to Mr Wilson, though had it not been for the robust intervention of Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and our other partner agencies, many more would have suffered and perished.”

Sara Shaw, head of the Crown Office’s wildlife and environmental crime unit, said Wilson’s actions amounted to a “campaign of deliberate criminality”.

Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland called it an “absolutely appalling incident involving the illegal killing of a range of protected wildlife.”

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture wildlife forensic scientist Dr Lucy Webster said the investigation had been an “excellent example” of partnership working to “bring a prolific wildlife criminal to justice”.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports, described it as “one of the worst wildlife crime incidents in recent years”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Wilson’s actions were “unacceptable” and “entirely out of step” with conduct it expected from its members.

He said Wilson’s SGA membership would be terminated immediately.

Sentencing: ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.

Scottish SPCA
BBC News
Daily Record