1. ITV Report

Teens banned from keeping animals after using dogs to kill wildlife

The teenagers were involved in cock fighting. Credit: RSPCA

Two teenagers who boasted of cock fighting and using dogs to hunt wildlife, have been sentenced for animal welfare offences.

The RSPCA’s investigation into the 16-year-olds - who cannot be named for legal reasons - uncovered footage of the teenagers using their dogs to attack hares, as well as clips of cock fighting which they had posted on social media.

ITV Border has chosen not to show the disturbing footage.

One teenager was banned from keeping all animals for three years and given an 11-month referral order by the district judge at Carlisle Youth Court on Monday (30 January), after he admitted four offences of taking part in a cock fight, four offences of hunting hares with a dog and four offences of causing unnecessary suffering to cockerels.

He was ordered by the court to pay £750 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

The second teenager admitted one offence of hunting a hare with a dog, in breach of the Hunting Act.

He was fined £100, as well as being ordered to pay £500 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

ITV Border has chosen not to show the disturbing footage. Credit: RSPCA

The court heard that the police alerted the RSPCA to various posts made by the defendants in which they had posted clips of cock fighting and dogs killing hares.

Warrants were carried out by the police, with RSPCA officers in attendance, in May last year and four cockerels were removed from one address.

The court this week issued a deprivation order and the cockerels are currently in the RSPCA’s care and will be found loving new homes.

We worked closely with Cumbria Police on this investigation and I am pleased that between us we have been able to bring these matters to the court’s attention.

The district judge made it clear throughout the hearing that they took an extremely dim view of what they described as the defendants’ “deplorable” behaviour.

Hopefully the outcome of this case will act as a deterrent to anyone else who thinks that they can break the law involving animals and get away with it.

– RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd