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Anger at lenient sentence for badger baiter

AN ANIMAL charity has expressed its disappointment after a man who admitted badger baiting was sentenced to community service.

Craig Morrison, 22, from Dalry, Ayrshire, admitted three charges after his dogs mauled two badger cubs. At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, he was given 175 hours community service, which was derided as far too lenient by wildlife protection agencies, including the Scottish SPCA.

The SSPCA said all agencies would be disappointed at the sentence which did ‘not really send the message that badger baiting was a serious crime’.

Doreen Graham, spokeswoman for the SSPCA, said: ‘It is alarming the number of disturbed badger setts our inspectors are coming across. No-one expects the courts to be experts about badger baiting but I have to say we're disappointed with this.’

The sheriff also banned Morrison from keeping dogs for two years and ordered him to pay £1,200 towards the upkeep of his dogs, which have been kept in SSPCA kennels.

Hunting equipment including two live catch traps, a tracking harness, shovels and a map were confiscated.