Mother and daughter banned for ten years
A MOTHER and daughter both received 10-year bans at Peterborough Magistrates Court on 28 April after previously pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three Greyhounds and failing to meet the welfare needs of another four Greyhounds.
Rosemary Hagger (51) was banned from keeping dogs for 10 years and her daughter Rebecca (20) was banned from keeping all animals for 10 years. Rebecca was also ordered to do 200 hours of community service and Rosemary was given a 12-month conditional discharge. The pair from Edgerley Drain Road, Peterborough, were each ordered to pay £250 in costs.
The RSPCA was contacted in September 2007 with relation to the welfare of greyhounds at the Hagger’s premises. Inspectors found three greyhounds which were emaciated and had infected sores, contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act, 2006. The remaining four were underweight and had flea infestations and were living in dirty conditions with no food or water available, contrary to section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act, 2006.
A vet estimated that two of the dogs had been made to suffer unnecessarily for at least two months and one dog for at least one month.
In mitigation the defendants said that the dogs had belonged to Rosemary's husband (Rebecca's father) who had passed away.
The court heard that both defendants had worked in the greyhound racing industry and decided to impose a ban, despite Rebecca still having a job in the industry.
RSPCA inspector Kat Parfitt said: ‘Animals deserve much better than the conditions these dogs were kept in and should have access to veterinary treatment when they need it.
‘The RSPCA believes that the government must introduce effective national standards to ensure the welfare of racing and ex-racing greyhounds. We also feel that those in the industry must be compelled to ensure provision is made for retired dogs.’
The pair’s conviction drew comments from greyhound welfare campaigners who felt that their sentence had been too lenient and that their offences were far form uncommon.
A spokesperson for Greyhound Action said: ‘Sadly Rebecca Hagger and Rosemary Hagger are just the tip of the iceberg, and although Rebecca Hagger has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years, and her daughter Rebecca Hagger has been banned from keeping all animals for 10 years, they should both have been banned from keeping all animals for life. If they can maltreat greyhounds in this way now, to slowly watch them become emaciated with starvation, to see them with infected sores, flea infestations, and without food or water, then how will these two despicable individuals be any different in 10 years’ time?
‘The fact that both Rebecca and Rosemary Hagger worked for the racing industry, and that Rebecca Hagger continues to have a 'job' in the industry, beggars belief, and says volumes about this business, and those working within it.
‘Money, dogs? Dogs, money? - This is what the racing industry perpetuates, therefore, abuse, cruelty and the death of greyhounds will never stop until people realize that is the 'business' of greyhound racing which fosters this suffering, no matter how hard they try to separate themselves from it. It's just that simple, the cruelty will never end until greyhound racing 'runs' out of business.’
Helen Stevens of Greyhound Crusaders was equally condemning in her comments:
’Greyhound Crusaders are naturally disgusted by this recent case of cruelty to greyhounds by these two animal abusers who have worked within the greyhound racing industry (and in Rebecca Hagger's case allegedly still does), however we are not surprised to hear of yet another incident of abuse and negligence towards greyhounds as cruelty and suffering inflicted upon these gentle-natured dogs is sadly commonplace.
‘Greyhounds are vastly exploited to provide greyhound racing to the public and thousands of these beautiful dogs are unnecessarily abused, maimed and killed every year… In the case of Rosemary and Rebecca Hagger, whilst we fully support the RSPCA for bringing these animal abusers to justice, we are deeply concerned that one has been banned from keeping dogs for only 10 years and the other from keeping all animals for only 10 years, we feel most strongly that both should have been banned from keeping ALL animals for life and in no way should they have any jobs that involve working with animals. Rebecca Hagger should be sacked immediately from her present position.’
* Three of the dogs from the case still need new homes. White and black Boris and Tyler and Wilson, who are both black with white chests, are lovely, friendly dogs who are happy to laze around with just short bursts of exercise. Anyone who feels they can give a greyhound a good retirement home should call the RSPCA Peterborough & District Branch on 01733 248116.