A man from West Yorkshire has been jailed for “horrific” badger baiting offences.
Anthony Lee, 23, urged his dogs to attack and kill badgers as he recorded the fights on a mobile phone.
One magistrate was left in tears after viewing three of the recovered clips.
Lee, of Coronation Way, Keighley, admitted to three counts of animal fighting and was jailed for 23 weeks at Bradford Magistrates Court. He has also been banned from looking after or keeping animals for the rest of his life.
The issue was reported on by John Craven in an episode of Countryfile in early April this year. He investigated why badger baiting is on the rise in the British countryside and revealed what is being done to clamp down on this practice by shadowing RSPCA officers.
RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport stated that the phone footage in question was amongst the worst he had ever seen. He 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.”
The offences were discovered in February last year after warrants were carried out around the Keighley area. Two men were arrested but Lee attended the police station freely. Lee was interviewed and had his phone seized.
One clip on the phone reportedly showed a dog killing a badger. The second showed a dog shaking and killing a badger. The third video showed a dog fighting a badger in its sett.
An examination of Lee’s two bull lurcher dogs revealed they had injuries consistent with badger baiting. They have now been re-homed.
Lee pleaded guilty to the three charges during a hearing at Bradford Magistrates Court on 28 March this year.
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