Six men and a youth have today (Monday 19 December 2011) been found guilty of animal cruelty offences after they killed two badgers with dogs.
The sentencing follows an incident at Howsham, near York, on Sunday 30 January 2011, when the group was seen on farmland with a pack of 13 dogs, where they put a terrier down a badger sett.
The men encouraged the pack of dogs to attack and kill the heavily pregnant sow which had been in the sett. The men buried its body in the sett which they had dug open.
The men located a second badger, which was also severely injured by the dogs, before being shot by a member of the group. Its screams attracted the attention of two men in the area. The men immediately contacted the police and kept officers informed with the offenders’ location.
Alan Alexander, 32, from York, and Richard Simpson, 37, from York were found guilty of wilfully killing a badger, hunting a mammal with dogs, digging for badgers, interfering with a badger sett and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Paul Ian Tindall, 31, from York, William Edward Anderson, 26, from Pickering and a 17-year-old youth from York, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were all found guilty of wilfully killing a badger, hunting a mammal with dogs, digging for badgers and interfering with a badger sett.
Christopher Martin Holmes, 28, and Malcolm David Warner, 28, of York pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to wilfully killing a badger, hunting a mammal with dogs and digging for badgers.
They will be sentenced on Tuesday 10 January 2012.
An eighth man who was also charged with these offences was cleared of all charges.
Sgt Paul Stephenson, of the Malton Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:
These were acts of unbridled savagery which have no place in today’s society.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the witnesses for the bravery they showed when reporting the initial incident. I would also like to thank the RSPCA and prosecution team for their support which allowed us to achieve this result.
Sgt Stephenson added:
I would also encourage anyone who has information about people involved with this barbaric activity to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.