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‘Dog lover’ badger baiter snared by Internet


A BADGER baiting ring in Scotland was discovered after a teenager posted pictures of an animal being attacked by a dog on the Internet.

Police obtained warrants and searched several houses in Hawick in the Borders after viewing the images.

Two members of the gang appeared at Jedburgh Sheriff Court and admitted digging at badger setts. However, the case highlighted an anomaly in the law which the Judge drew attention to.
Sentence on Sean Dodds, 17, of McLagan Drive, and Kyle Lawrie, 19, of Church Lane, both in Hawick, was deferred.

Dodds, who had downloaded images of a badger being killed as a profile on his Bebo page, pleaded guilty to wilfully killing a badger.

It is the first time someone in Scotland has been convicted of deliberately killing a badger with a dog. Under this legislation. The present law was amended by the Nature Conservation Act 2004 so that digging around a badger sett is now punishable by three years in prison or a fine.
However, the taking or killing of a badger actually carries a lesser maximum sentence of six months’ detention or a £5,000 fine under the Protection of Badgers Act.

This anomaly was highlighted by Sheriff Kevin Drummond who hinted that the law needed to be
re-examined.

Sheriff Drummond deferred sentencing and said that he was giving serious consideration to the severity of the punishment he would give.