Badgers

Two hunters fined £500 each for badger baiting.

Irish Examiner, 25/05/2001.
Two men, found guilty of badger baiting in April, were fined £1,000 in Roscrea District Court yesterday. Donnacha Doyle, 19, of Benamore, Roscrea, and Keith Murray, 21, of Golden Grove, Roscrea, who pleaded not guilty last month to hunting without permission, entering land to hunt, carrying a spade and firearm capable of hunting, hunting a protected animal, a badger, and interfering with a sett – were ordered to pay £500 each to separate animal charities. Two children accompanied the two men on the hunting exposition.


Baiters abandon mauled dogs - Interrupted by locals, owners flee from farmland in Muckalee

Kilkenny Voice, 14/3/2006

Bloodthirsty dog owners scampered and left their animals behind them when they were chased from farmland in Muckalee in North Kilkenny.  see more



Three in court over badger baiting

Journal.ie (http://www.thejournal.ie/psni-badget-baiting-animal-cruelty-operationmeles-434490-Apr2012/), 30/4/2012

THREE MEN HAVE appeared before a court in Co Down today after they were arrested by PSNI officers on suspicion of animal cruelty.  see more



Two hunters fined £500 each for badger baiting

Irish Examiner, 25/05/2001

Two men, found guilty of badger baiting in April, were fined £1,000 in Roscrea District Court yesterday.

  Donnach Doyle, 19, of Benamore, Roscrea, and Keith Murray, 21, of Golden Grove, Roscrea, who pleaded not guilty last month to hunting without permission, entering land to hunt, carrying a spade and firearm capable of hunting, hunting a protected animal, a badger, and interfering with a sett – were ordered to pay £500 each to separate animal charities.

  Keith Murray, an apprentice fitter, was further charged with failing to allow the authorised person to use a shotgun on March 5, 2000, at Kilmartin, Borris-in-Ossory.

  Two children accompanied the two men on the hunting exposition.

  District Judge Mary Martin ordered Mr. Doyle to pay £500 to Badger Watch Ireland and Mr. Murray to pay £500 to the local ISPCA.

  Imposing penalties, Judge Martin adjourned matters in relation to conviction until July 26.

  The case arose following an investigation by conservation ranger James Green. On March 5, 2000, he went to Kilmartin, Borris-in-Ossory, acting on confidential information he received concerning the taking of badgers from the area.

  At about 2.30pm on the day in question, Mr Greene came across a Land Rover, attached to which was a dog box containing two terriers. While he checked the dogs and the tyres on the Land Rover for debris and clay, he heard dogs barking. He moved towards the source of the noise and saw four people walking away from a badger’s sett. One of them was carrying a spade and other was carrying a shotgun.

  Mr Greene said the badger’s sett had been dug up, but stones prevented any entry.

  However, at the sitting of the April court, defence solicitor Paddy Cadell put it to Mr Greene that the Kilmartin area was a very popular area for hunting rabbits.

  Donnacha Doyle told the court they had been out rabbit hunting. Doyle said a dog with them disappeared down a hole and when it did not return after 20 minutes Keith Murray got a stick from the ditch and rooted in the hole.

  A 14-year-old witness who accompanied the defendants told the court, in April, that the group had been hunting rabbits and that they had never been out badger-baiting. The second young witness said they had been hunting rabbits with the men.

  After yesterday’s case, Badger Watch Ireland and the Association of Hunt Saboteurs called on the Government to set up a wildlife crime unit to tackle illegal blood sports. Both groups said the establishment of the unit would represent a major step forward in the fight to end illegal wildlife crime.



Three accused of Badger baiting at Kinnegad

Meath Chronicle, 08/03/1997

Three Kildare defendants summonsed with a number of alleged offences, including assisting in the baiting of a badger and a fox, had their cases adjourned to 11th April next at Trim Court next week.

  Peter Maher, Grangeclare, Knockcor, Carbury, is summonsed with wilfully interfering with and for destroying the breeding place of a protected wild animal, at Colehill, Kinnegad, on 25th February last; entering on the lands of Laurence Finn for the purposes of hunting wild birds or animals without the permission of the owner; causing, procuring or assisting in the baiting of a badger and a fox; carrying a spade and shovel capable of being used for the hunting of a wild bird or animal, on the lands of Laurence Finn without his permission; giving a false name and address contrary to section 69 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, and failing to give a correct name and address on a demand made pursuant to section 72 of the Wildlife Act, 1976.

  John Casey, Coolcarrigan, and Patrick Mulligan, Knockcor, Carbury, were summonsed also, with the first four charges.



Men admit to interfering with badger set

Examiner, 26/04/1997

Three men who admitted interfering with the set of a badger were described as blackguards by a Judge yesterday.

  Judge John Brophy also threatened to remand them in custody for a week when they appeared before Trim District Court. One of the men, Peter Maher, Grangeclare, Robenstown, was remanded in custody for a week.

  The court heard he had given a false name and address to a wildlife ranger.

  Maher along with John Casey (32), Coolcarrigan and Patrick Mulligan Jnr (28, Knockmore, Carbury was charged with entering lands without the owner’s permission on February 25, 1996 at Colehill, Kinnegad. The three also admitted interfering/destroying the breeding place of a protected wild animal and carrying a spade and shovel capable of being used for the hunting of a wild bird or animal.

  Solicitor Cora Higgins said the men had been given permission to hunt on lands belonging to a particular person and were doing that when a fox moved across onto other land. Judge Brophy said that there was no fox and if any part of a badger had been found in the set Ms Higgins clients would be going to jail for 3 months.

  He said they had dug 1.3 metres deep into the set.

  “The badger is a protected animal, this is a well known set in the area and they deliberately had two dogs and another dog in the boot. If a badger catches you he won’t let go, it is his only defence, it is disgusting,” said the Judge. The Judge added that if the Wilidlife Act permitted it, the defendants would be going to jail.

  A photograph of Maher had to be circulated to garda stations to get him identified and the other defendants allowed him to give false information to the ranger, they went along with the charade, Judge Brophy added.

  He remanded Maher in custody for a week to appear again in Trim Court next Friday.

  He imposed fines on the other defendants and in relation to Casey disqualified him from driving for 12 months using his car in connection with the offence.


Five-year gun licence ban for badger hunters

Examiner, 30/01/1998

Two Co. Kildare men were banned from holding firearm licences for five years and fined £40 each when they failed to have District Court convictions over a badger hunting incident, overturned at Trim Circuit Court yesterday.

  Evidence had been given at an earlier hearing by wildlife ranger, john Moore, of seeing John Casey, Coolcarrigan, and Peter Maher, Grangeclare, Robertstown, approach a badger set in a field near Kinnegad, on January 25, 1996.

  The defendants were seen carrying spades and sticks.

  After hearing that one of the part had already given the ranger a false name, Judge Pat McCartan told them: “Badger-baiting was to be the entertainment that day. You knew exactly what you were about, it’s a pity the penalties I can impose are so meagre, as I’m tempted to send both of you to jail.

  “What particularly disturbs me is that badgers are a much maligned and beautiful animal, who will fight to the death to protect their homes.

  “Both of you were aware of this and were armed with spades and sticks because of it.

  “No Irishman, and certainly no countryman, should be involved in such a thing. I hope you are both suitably ashamed of your actions.

  “The message can go out loud and clear to all gun club members, that this type of incident won’t be tolerated. One of you is secretary of your local gun club and perhaps when they see you both lost your gun licence for five years, they’ll get the hint.”

Donations totalling £1,400 were paid by the men to various animal charities.



Activists seek sharper bite

Ireland, 06/12/1998

Anti-bloodsport groups are calling for jail sentences for wildlife crimes following the conviction of a man for interfering with a badger sett.  see more



Man fined €350 for digging out setts

Irish Independent, 04/06/2004

A man who pleaded guilty to interfering with badger setts in a nature reserve was fined €350 yesterday.

  Michael O’Dowd (45), Grange Crescent, Mullingar, pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with a breeding area of a protected wild animal and of failure to comply with a request of a ranger.

  Mr O’Dowd admitted in Mullingar District Court he dug out a badger sett, but only after a terrier he had with him got stuck in the hole. His solicitor said he had been hunting foxes.

  National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers heard a report that two men and dogs were seen entering Richfort Demense near Lough Ennel in Co Westmeath on May 26, 2003. They found freshly dug out badger setts and bait.

  When they called to Mr O’Dowd’ house he refused them permission to see his dogs or shovel.



Charges of badger hunting dismissed

Irish Times, 04/06/2004

A man had charges of illegally hunting badgers dismissed against him, but was convicted and fined €350 for other offences under the Wildlife Act at Mullingar District Court yesterday.

  Michael O’Dowd (45), of Grange Crescent, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, was before Judge David Anderson on five charges under the Act. He pleaded guilty to charges of interfering with the breeding place of a protected wild animal (badger) and failure to comply with a requirement to show the instruments and dogs used for hunting. However, three other charges were struck out.

  The charges were brought against O’Dowd following an incident at Rochfort Demense, Mullingar, on May 26th, 2003.

  The court heard that three wildlife rangers were investigating a complaint that O’Dowd had been hunting badgers on Westmeath County Council land on the eastern shore of Lough Ennel.

  Sgt Terry Quinn told the judge that the rangers discovered that a badger set had been freshly dug out and filled. They called to the home of O’Dowd, and questioned him.

  The court was told O’Dowd admitted he was hunting with his dogs that morning, but said he was hunting foxes. Sgt Quinn said O’Dowd refused to show the rangers his dogs or the spade used. Following this, the rangers made a complaint to the Garda.

  In a statement to the Garda, O’Dows said he had gone hunting foxes with a 14-year-old and two dogs, one a terrier. The terrier had gone into the set, and he had had to dig him out.

  Mr Bob Marren, defending, said O’Dowd had no previous convictions. He had only disturbed the set to dig out his dog, and was pleading guilty to this offence.

  Judge Anderson imposed a €250 fine for interfering with the set. O’Dowd was fined a further €100 for failing to comply with the request of the rangers to show the dogs and equipment used for hunting.



Two fined for killing badgers

New Ross Standard, 06/12/1990

Two farmers and a publican were charged at a special court in New Ross on Thursday with unlawfully killing a badger and two cubs at Courthoyle on 15th April.

see more


Badger-hunt holidays are arranged for UK groups

Irish Times, 26/09/1995

Men are travelling to Ireland from Britain for organised badger-baiting holidays. One of them, a prominent terrier breeder, has been organising trial badger baits for Irish enthusiasts.

  Two men, one in Co Meath and the other in west Wicklow, have been letting houses for the past three years to British enthusiasts.

  Badger-baiting is a blood sport and is illegal under the 1976 Wildlife Act. It involves putting trained terriers into badger homes, or setts, where they hold at bay any animal they find. The dog handlers then dig towards the sound of the barking, until they trap the cornered animal.

  At this point more dogs are either released onto the badger to kill it or it is placed in a bag and taken to a “bait”. This is an organised fight between a badger and dogs. Bets are normally placed on the result.

  British police sources say that one man who travels to Ireland has a criminal record for illegal possession of firearms, armed robbery and assault.

  One known and respected British terrier breeder has been involved, and has been featured in British fieldsports publications. He organises trials for badger-baiting enthusiasts interested in purchasing his dogs.

  At these trials, dogs which are offered for sale are pitted against badgers and are purchased on the strength of their killing abilities.

  One man who acts as an agent for the British terrier breeder told The Irish Times that many Irish “diggers” – a slang term for badger-baiting followers – have purchased dogs from him.

  While in Ireland last year on a badger-baiting trip, the British breeder also judged a dog show for a hunting fair. Another man who judged at this show is directly involved in organising badger-digging holidays.

  Mr John Bryant, wildlife officer of the British League Against Cruel Sports, said that the identities of the individuals who travel to Ireland for badger-baiting are known.

  A spokesman for the Irish Council Against Bloodsports, Mr John Tierney, said that it was not surprising that some involved in badger baiting had connections with legal bloodsports. He said that in Britain legal fieldsports enthusiasts had been prosecuted for illegal bloodsports.

  Mr James Norton of the Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association said that his organisation did not condone badger-baiting.

  “I can confirm that every effort is made by our members not to disturb badger setts or earths where badgers are known to be in residence. The Irish Masters of FoxhoundsAssociation is concerned about allegations which attempt to link prohibited activities with traditional fieldsports.”

The Badgerwatch spokeswoman, Ms Angel Tinney, said: “Until such a time as Ireland gets Garda wildlife officers to investigate wildlife crime, Ireland will always be seen internationally as a haven for bloodsports.”

  A spokesman for the Garda Press Office said that any incident of badger baiting reported to the gardai was investigated fully. He appealed to members of the public with information to contact their local Garda station.



Killing Fields

Exposed: Badger baiting horror

Sunday World, 04/09/1994

A helpless and terrified badger is torn from its sett by a specially trained hunting dog, its teeth buried deep into the jaw and ear of the stricken animal.

see more



Badger killers in away-day butchery

News of the World, 03/03/1991

Sadistic badger baiters are taking away-day hunting trips to Ireland in a bid to beat the crackdown on their cruel sport.

  The evil butchers are being forced to seek new killing fields as a law championed by the News of the World looks set to ban their barbarous activities from Britain.

  Two of our investigators joined four Essex baiters on a three-day trip to Bally Connell in County Cavan, Eire.

  Local farmer Phil King, who organised the trip for £450, bragged:”Half my income comes from baiters across the water. I’m booked until April.”

  On the first dig two badgers were caught.

  The laughing louts held up the terrified animals by their back legs so their snarling dogs could rip at their faces.

  But incredibly both blood-spattered badgers managed to escape when they were flung on the ground to be finished off.

  The men, all in their twenties, boasted how their terriers had earlier dragged the mutilated bodies of two badger cubs from a sett.

  “Their insides were ripped out,” one laughed/

The four thugs-Daniel Eldridge and his pals Graham, Jason and Wayne – talked angrily of our anti-baiting campaign and the Badger Bill now going through parliament.

  One said: “it’s that bloody newspaper’s fault. Their investigations are a pain.”



Hurt dog rescued and man held in badger baiting raid

Irish Times, 03/02/2012

THE ULSTER Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) has urged the public to be vigilant against badger-baiting after a man was arrested and a badly injured dog rescued near Banbridge, Co Down.

  David Wilson of the USPCA said the severe facial injuries to the dog, a Patterdale terrier, were consistent with the animal having been involved in a fight with a badger.

  The man (58) was arrested by PSNI officers co-operating with USPCA inspectors on Wednesday night. It was part of a UK-wide crackdown on badger baiting called Operation Meles.

  The terrier was rescued from a house in Gilford near Banbridge. A vehicle was also seized. The man was released yesterday “pending further inquiries”.

  A senior police officer said: “I have investigated a number of animal cruelty cases and the injuries sustained by this dog are some of the worst I have seen.”

  In follow-up searches on nearby premises yesterday morning, four similar terrier-type dogs were recovered and taken into the care of the USPCA. Several implements, such as long-handle spades suitable for digging up badger setts and boxes to hold badgers, were also seized.

  Badger-baiting involves setting dogs against badgers. It often involves betting, while breeding and selling the terriers is also a business.

  Mr Wilson said the seizures in Co Down were part of an intelligence-led operation. Throughout the island, he added, it was estimated that badger baiting was “costing the lives of thousands of Irish badgers” each year.

  He said those involved did not go near the badgers in the summer when they were breeding but that this was the season for digging them out of setts to prepare them for organised badger-baiting at “very secret venues”.

  Mr Wilson asked for people, particularly farmers and others living in rural areas, to be watchful for people who might be involved in “this medieval pastime”.

  There was particular suspicious activity to look out for. “You are looking for a van or a vehicle with trailers; you are looking for dogs; you are looking for guys carrying long-handled spades.”




Badger baiting accused face court

BBC News, 30/04/2012

Three men have appeared in court over alleged badger baiting.

  The defendants are all accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a terrier dog and badger and interfering with a badger sett.

  At Newtownards Magistrates Court were Graham Arthur Officer, 40, from Rose Park, Donaghadee and brothers Chris and Ryan Kirkwood, aged 21 and 19, from Island Street, east Belfast.

  Another defendant did not appear in court for medical reasons. He is Darren Millar, 39, from Rainey Way Belfast. Ryan Kirkwood is also charged with resisting police. The defendants spoke to say they understood the charges.

  A police constable told the court this was "an extreme and disturbing case". She added that the USPCA said it was the worst case of animal cruelty in many years.

  District Judge Mark Hamill said the men were to desist from any type of hunting related activities and were warned to stick to their bail conditions which also included a 9pm to 7am curfew, and continued bail of £500.

  The men were arrested by police as part of operation Meles, their investigation into badger baiting across Northern Ireland.

  A number of properties were searched in the Banbridge and south Armagh areas. The accused are to appear in court again on 8 June.



Former Tyrone footballer faces badger baiting charge

Tyrone Times, 11/04/2014

DUNGANNON man and former Tyrone GAA star, Gerard Cavlan, has appeared before the local Magistrates Court on a charge of interfering with a badger sett.

  The 38 year-old, from Willows Gardens, appeared alongside Shane Loughran, 33, of Clonmeen Cottages, also Dungannon.

  The men are accused of intentionally or recklessly obstructing access to a badger sett contrary to the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

  Cavlan won an All Ireland medal with Tyrone in 2003.

  Although only minimal details of the allegation were conveyed to Dungannon Magistrates Court, a prosecution lawyer said police were called to an incident of suspected badger-baiting on the Caledon Estate on August 29 last year.

  A defence barrister said he was aware the prosecution had engaged an expert to provide evidence and he required time to study this, requesting a four week adjournment.

  However, District Judge John Meehan adjourned the case for two weeks until April 23 when a contest date is to be fixed.