#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 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”.
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.
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.