Barbaric badger baiter jailed in Northern Ireland

The League Against Cruel Sports has played a crucial role along with other animal welfare charities and the police in helping to convict a barbaric badger baiter and animal abuser in Northern Ireland.

The League’s intelligence team, the USPCA and Nature Watch supplied information to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and a police raid led to Jason Kennedy being jailed last week for a string of brutal animal cruelty offences.

These offences involved setting dogs on badgers, foxes and cats which were then mauled to death in the most horrific of circumstances.

The judge at Dungannon Crown Court said: “I find it impossible to understand how any human being could deliberately set up the circumstances for such cruelty to another animal.

“In my opinion, what the defendant did was from some distorted view of sport and is sadistic and cruel.”

She added: “As can be imagined the suffering of the cats and badgers who were attacked by several frenzied dogs is immense.”

Kennedy was sentenced to 27 months, half to be served in custody and half on supervised licence, and given a ten-year ban from keeping animals.

Robbie Marsland, the League’s director for Northern Ireland, said: “The League Against Cruel Sports is proud to have worked with the USPCA, Nature Watch and PSNI in bringing Jason Kennedy to justice.

“We hope this case will deter others from committing these heinous offences that have no place in the 21st century.”

In one horrendous incident, a badger was filmed being dragged along by a rope around its neck before nine dogs were set upon it and killed it.

In another distressing video found on his phone, a cat was thrown to four dogs who tore it apart.

The League investigation into Kennedy took place in May 2021 and revealed photos and videos of him with injured dogs and dead foxes indicating he was setting up fights between his dogs and wildlife.

The dogs included both terriers which are used underground and ‘long dogs’, a pit bull crossed with a lurcher which are bred by hunters for both their power and speed.

The evidence obtained from social media was then passed onto the police and USPCA.

The PSNI raid which led to the court case also found dogs with substantial injuries to their muzzles and faces, something that is commonplace, as both badger and dogs get seriously injured or killed in the fights.

The dogs were taken into care before being subsequently rehomed.

While badger baiting is illegal, fox hunting with dogs is still legal in Northern Ireland. Accompanying fox hunts but also operating independently are terrier man who send their dogs underground to savagely fight, kill or drive out wildlife that has sought sanctuary or lives underground.

Robbie added: “Shockingly, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where hunting with dogs is still legal and terrier men are using this to target not only foxes – who flee into badger setts to escape hunt hounds – but badgers too.

“It’s time for change and for hunting with dogs to be banned in Northern Ireland to help end this animal abuse.

“We are hopeful that a private members bill will be tabled in Stormont early next month which will, if successful, ban the brutal world of fox hunting and make Northern Ireland the first country in the UK to have banned the repugnant activities of terrier men.”

Animal Charity

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