Badger baiter banned from keeping animals for life

Man was caught by police digging into an active badger sett two years ago.

Badger baiter banned from keeping animals for life Crown Office

A man has been banned from keeping animals for life, two years after he was caught by police digging into an active badger sett.

Robert King was found guilty in February of badger baiting, with two charges under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and another charge under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

The 34-year-old from Motherwell appeared at Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday for sentencing.

King was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and given a Restriction of Liberty Order for seven months.

Police officers caught King digging into the badger hole in woodland near Carluke railway station on April 25, 2018.

He had sent two Jack Russell terriers – which were allowed to roam freely with his lurcher – into the sett and had been fitted with locator collars allowing him to know where the dogs were when underground.

The Scottish SPCA was called to assist police and when the terriers returned to the surface they were found to have injuries suggesting they had fought with a badger.

All three dogs were seized by the animal welfare charity, with one of the terriers put down due to its injuries.

The other two dogs were taken from King in a deprivation order from the court.

Sara Shaw, head of the wildlife and environmental crime unit, said: “I welcome the conviction and sentence of Robert King and the message it sends to others who would cause such terrible and unnecessary suffering.

“The law protects badgers from harm, as well as dogs from being used for fighting.

“I would like to thank Police Scotland and the Scottish SPCA for their part in investigating and gathering evidence of these offences.

“COPFS will continue to work to ensure those who participate in this barbaric practice are prosecuted and would encourage anyone who may have information on animal fighting to contact Police Scotland.”