A 34-year-old man has been banned from keeping animals for life after being found guilty of badger baiting and animal cruelty offences.
Robert King, from Motherwell, was sentenced at Lanark Sheriff Court after being found guilty of two charges under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and a charge under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
King was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and given a Restriction of Liberty Order for a seven-month period.
The court heard that the police caught King in the act of digging into an active badger sett in woodland near Carluke Train Station on 25 April 2018. King had sent two Jack Russell Terriers into the sett.
The dogs had been fitted with locator collars to allow King to determine the location of the dogs whilst underground.
The Scottish SPCA was called to provide assistance and when the terriers returned to the surface they were found to have injuries indicative of having fought with a badger.
The terriers, along with King’s lurcher, which was roaming freely, were seized by the Scottish SPCA.
One of the terriers was so severely injured that it had to be euthanised.
The court made a deprivation order removing the surviving terrier and the lurcher from King’s ownership.
Sara Shaw, Head of Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit said:
“I welcome the conviction and sentence of Robert King and the message it sends to others who would cause such terrible and unnecessary suffering.
"The law protects badgers from harm as well as dogs from being used for fighting.
“I would like to thank Police Scotland and the Scottish SPCA for their part in investigating and gathering evidence of these offences.
"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 animal fighting to contact Police Scotland."