Two brothers from Bridlington have been given the maximum prison sentence for their part in 'appalling' animal cruelty offences.
George Horner - a former professional boxer - and his brother John have been put behind bars for six months after being found guilty of the wildlife crimes last month. They have also been fined £2,000 each, banned from keeping animals and were given three-year Criminal Behaviour Orders.
The Bridlington men, aged 26 and 19, were sentenced yesterday, alongside Andrew Booth (44) and Kirk McGarry (50) both from Doncaster, and Richard Willey (46) from Hull.
It follows an investigation into digging into a badger sett at Melton in the East Riding of Yorkshire in December 2017. Read more about the incident here
Wildlife and Rural Crime officer Brandon Ward said: “This is a very good result for the Wildlife and Rural Crime team who have worked really hard to gather evidence and to bring this case to court. The judge had at his disposal the option to sentence each of the men to a maximum of six-month in jail and the result today proves how appalling this case was.
“I hope this will serve as a warning to anyone considering committing crimes like this in our area that we will investigate and bring cases to court and a jail term in a very real possibility.
“Badger digging is barbaric and cruel and involves horrific suffering to both the badger and the dogs involved.
“These dogs will now be able to be re-homed and have the love and care that they deserve. It is in their nature as terriers to enter holes but what these men made the dogs do is almost indescribable. Paddy nearly died from his injuries but he needed a lot of vet treatment.
“This is a very unusual case for us as it is rare that we catch people in the act. It was the quick thinking of the member of the public that meant we could get wildlife officers straight down there and make the arrests and save the dogs.”
Four terrier-type dogs were seized at the time of the incident, one dog, Paddy, was seriously injured and was lucky to survive.
A second dog, Dizzy, was heavily pregnant when she was seized and gave birth to a puppy, named Romeo, who is now one year-old. Two other dogs, Charlotte and Jess were also seized. All five dogs have been kennelled and have responded well to the care and attention they have received.