Life ban for man who kept dogs for fighting

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A VIEWPARK man who admitted keeping dogs for animal fighting has been banned from owning animals for life.

Andrew Mullen (37) was sentenced at Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday. The sheriff also imposed a six month curfew and ordered Mullen carry out 200 hours of community service.

This is the first conviction in Scotland for keeping dogs for baiting wild animals since the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 came into effect. Animal fighting also includes ‘baiting’ under the 2006 Act.

The case came about following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA.

Mullen had previously pled guilty to keeping three lurchers and two terrier type dogs for animal fighting.

Inspectors from the charity’s Special Investigations Unit discovered 340 photographs on a laptop showing dogs fighting with badgers, foxes and deer when they visited Mullen’s home on Hickory Crescent in 2010.

A veterinary examination revealed that three of Mullen’s five dogs had injuries consistent with badger baiting.

It is believed the SSPCA has since rehomed three of the dogs with one still in its care. The other dog was put to sleep due to complications and ill health associated with old age.

SSPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “This result sends out an important message that keeping dogs for the purposes of animal fighting is illegal and will not be tolerated.

“Badger baiting is a heinous crime against badgers which are horrifically baited and often killed and this case has illustrated how the dogs involved also receive extensive and shocking injuries, particularly to their heads and faces.

“We will continue to actively target badger baiters and we urge anyone with information on those involved in this horrific blood sport to call us, even anonymously, to raise any concerns they might have.”

The Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline is 03000 999 999.