Man sentenced for dog fighting offence

A 32-year old Aberdeenshire man has been given 240 hours of unpaid work and will be under 12 months supervision for keeping a dog for fighting.

A 32-year old Aberdeenshire man who kept a dog for fighting has been given a Community Payback Order requiring him to be under supervision for 12 months and to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned from keeping dogs for ten years.

Liam Taylor was sentenced at Banff Sheriff Court today after pleading guilty to keeping a Bull Lurcher for an animal fight and failing to provide veterinary treatment for injuries to the dog’s face, toe and teeth.

The court heard that Inspectors from the Scottish SPCA and officers from Police Scotland went to Taylor’s home in MacDuff with a warrant on the morning of 8 October 2019.

Two dogs were found within kennels to the rear garden area. The male white and black Bull Lurcher was found with very obvious head and face injuries. There was also an injury to its front paw with the dog finding it difficult to weight bear on the paw.

The dog was examined by a specialist vet. Their expert opinion was that the dog had been used repeatedly for hunting resulting in multiple very serious and disfiguring injuries. The injuries seen were thought to be a mixture of injuries sustained from fighting with foxes and a badger.

It was the vet’s opinion that by failing to seek veterinary treatment, Taylor had caused the dog unnecessary suffering.

A toolbox was found in the garden shed. This appeared to be a home veterinary kit and contained a staple gun and syringes that were covered in dried blood as well as various other medical products.DNA analysis of the staple gun showed the dog’s blood on the stapler matched that of the Bull Lurcher.

A knife found in Taylor’s jacket proved a positive match for badger and roe deer DNA.Taylor voluntarily relinquished his ownership of the two dogs in favour of the Scottish SPCA.

Speaking after the sentencing, Fiona Caldwell, Head of Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit said:

“Dog fighting is a cruel illegal activity which causes terrible and unnecessary suffering to animals.

“I welcome today’s sentence and the granting of the order preventing Liam Taylor from keeping dogs for ten years.

"COPFS will continue to work to ensure those who participate in this barbaric practice are prosecuted and would encourage anyone who may have information on dog fighting to contact the police or the Scottish SPCA."