Three Castleford men fined after 'abhorrent' North Yorkshire badger baiting incident

The black terrier was taken to the vet for treatment and how now been re-homed. Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Three men from Castleford who used a dog as badger bait, causing it serious injuries, have been fined.

Police were called to private land near Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, after being alerted by a member of the public who had spotted the men, with five dogs and armed with spades.

At the scene, an officer found a black terrier, badly wounded and covered in dried, caked mud. He was taken to the local vets for treatment.

An expert witness was called out to confirm if the badger sett was active. The men's vehicles and their dogs were then seized by officers.

All three men appeared before magistrates in Scarborough and pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett.

Jamie Davies, aged 33, was fined £428, 29-year-old Nathaniel Holmes received a fine of £252 and Brandon Abbott, who is 28-years-old, was ordered to pay a fine of £656.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "Interfering with a badger sett is not only illegal but it causes immense suffering to both the badgers involved and the dogs who are sent down the setts.

"The black terrier we found at the scene had serious injuries to his jaw and teeth which the vet identified as consistent with those seen by dogs involved in badger baiting."

Badger baiters send dogs down into a sett to flush out the animals living there. They use locator collars to keep track of where the dogs are underground.

The spokesperson added: "Sometimes the badger will be allowed to run away but often they will be brought to the surface and the dogs encouraged to fight them, sometimes ending in the badger’s death and nearly always ending with both the dog and the badger suffering serious injuries.

"The dog we found had a number of older injuries which had not been treated, causing him immense pain."

The dog has now fully recovered and has been re-homed.