A man has been jailed and banned from keeping animals for 10 years after he was caught on CCTV throwing two rabbits into a grass verge before driving off.

Gavin Huw Towells, 39, from Cwmbach, Aberdare, appeared at Merthyr Magistrates' Court and pleaded guilty to three offences.

Credit: CCTV footage

The court heard that Towells was caught on privately-owned CCTV getting out of his car in a layby on Abercynon Road, and picking up the rabbits by the ears and throwing into the undergrowth.

He did the same with a second rabbit and then drove off.

The rabbits were taken to the RSPCA Merthyr Tydfil Veterinary Clinic, where they were health checked and given pain relief to their ears, thought to have been caused by Towells.

The RSPCA said he caused the animals 'unnecessary suffering':

The way in which Towells treated these poor rabbits is absolutely disgusting. There is just no need for it. The rabbits actually somersaulted many times before landing. There are plenty of charities out there who are willing to take in unwanted pets.

Gemma Cooper, RSPCA inspector
Credit: RSPCA Cymru

The rabbits have now been successfully re-homed together.

Towells pleaded guilty to three offences, including causing unnecessary suffering to a tricolour female dutch rabbit and a brown female English lop eared rabbit by lifting them by their ears and throwing them, that he abandoned them, and also that he failed to provide them with a suitable living environment by confining them in an inadequate cage.

He was handed an eight-week prison sentence for the animal welfare offences and was ordered to pay a £115 surcharge and £400 in costs.

The prison sentences will not run concurrently.