Man jailed for using dogs for 'face-to-face fighting' with badgers

Video recovered by police shows dogs being encouraged to attack a helpless deer 

Two terriers owned by Sean Ward had injuries consistent with being used for badger-baiting
Two terriers owned by Sean Ward had injuries consistent with being used for badger-baiting

A dog owner who used his pets to bait badgers and encouraged them to attack a helpless deer has been jailed.

Sean Ward, 27, was arrested after a woman spotted him walking an injured Jack Russell in a field near Bishopton in Renfrewshire, Scotland, and filmed the animal on her mobile phone.

The dog had cuts and blood on its limbs and chest and a severe injury to its face.

Following a tip-off to the Scottish SPCA, inspectors searched Ward’s home on 14 June and examined a Patterdale terrier named Rosie, who also had scars on her face.

Experts concluded that the injuries to both terriers were consistent with “face-to-face fighting with a badger”, according to prosecutors.

A video found on a phone seized from Ward’s home showed three dogs savaging a deer while a man shouted: “Get him Chance”.

Ward’s partner confirmed that he also had a tan and white lurcher called Chance but had given it away.

Another photograph showed Ward with a dead deer, a white lurcher and a Jack Russell.

A vet concluded that the Jack Russell and Rosie had been used in badger baiting.

Ward, from Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, pleaded guilty at Greenock Sheriff Court to keeping three dogs for animal fighting and to possessing and sharing videos of animal fights.

Sheriff Craig Harris described his behaviour ”evil and sadistic” as he jailed Ward for seven months and banned him from keeping dogs for 20 years.

Sara Shaw, head of the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), described dog-fighting as “barbaric”.

Dog fighting is a cruel and wholly illegal act and I welcome today’s sentence and the granting of the order preventing Sean Ward from keeping dogs for 20 years,” she said.

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“These dogs were caused terrible and unnecessary suffering with numerous wounds and scars.

“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 dog fighting to contact the police or Scottish SPCA.”

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