A police operation targeting those involved in 'Badger Baiting' has resulted in four arrests in Consett. Four males aged between 20 and 36 were arrested for offences relating to the Badger Act.
Police worked with officers from the RSPCA to conduct several raids in the Consett area. The four males are currently in custody and a further male is to be interviewed voluntarily in relation to animal welfare issues.
Badger-baiting involves specially bred dogs being encouraged to draw a badger out of its burrow to attack it. It is outlawed under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.
During the raids, five dogs were removed and are being examined by a vet. Police also seized poaching equipment, phones and a small amount of cannabis.
Consett Police said:
This is a cruel and barbaric sport that results in a badger being set upon by several dogs having been dug from its sett. It results in horrific injuries not only to the badger but also the dogs used to attack it. Consett Police would encourage anyone with information about wildlife crime to report it to police or the RSPCA."