Crocodiles and snakes ‘destined for sale here’

Irish Examiner, 25/2/2006

Crocodiles which can grow up to three metres long were among a haul of deadly reptiles destined for sale here, it emerged last night.  see more

Jury retires without reaching verdict on vets accused of NI livestock scam

Irish Examiner, 14/2/2002

A jury debating the fate of two vets accused of helping to swindle the Ministry of Defence out of millions of pounds in a massive dead livestock scam, last night, retired without reaching a verdict.  see more

Slaughter on a sunny afternoon

Down Democrat, 8/4/2003
Over 100 dead and dying sheep have been discovered on a farm near Maghera. see more

Cruelty probe

Dromore Leader, 26/1/2010

A FARM at Edentrillick Road, Dromore, is at the centre of a police and USPCA investigation into alleged animal cruelty.  see more

Three in court over badger baiting, 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

Boy kills dog in horrific attack

Disgust as pup beaten with sticks

Belfast Telegraphy, 12/07/2005

There was outrage last night over another horrifying case of animal cruelty in Ulster in which a young boy is believed to have beaten a puppy to death.

  Police and the USPCA were called to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the puppy, which was found with severe injuries in the Vianstown Road area of Downpatrick.

  Sinn Fein councillor Eamonn McConvey said the boy’s parents were “very upset” by what had happened.

  He said: “This is a very concerning incident. We don’t know the full circumstances yet but the parents of the boy who has been implicated in this incident are very upset.

  “They are devastated and can’t understand why their son would do this.

  “They are very sorry for all the hurt caused.”

One resident said a group of children who witnessed the incident were left badly shaken.

  He said: “There were a number of kids about and they were left pretty shaken by what they had seen. Nobody knows yet what was behind this. We think the dog was a stray.”

  The boy is believed to have swung the dog around by its legs.

  This is the latest in a series of animal cruelty cases in the province in recent weeks.

  Earlier this month two children were believed to be responsible for beating a baby goat to death in Co Tyrone.

  The young animal was found with its legs and back broken in Dromore after it was beaten with a hurling stick.

  The children were too young to face prosecution.

  Two weeks ago a Labrador cross-breed was allegedly thrown from the 10th floor of a block of flats in north Belfast.

  Police were also called in to investigate the possible decapitation of a sheep after an animal’s head was discovered at a house in south Belfast.

Police seize fighting dogs after ‘training camp’ raid

Irish Independent, 07/01/2006

Around 60 dogs were last night seized by animal welfare and police officers as they raided a suspected training camp for fighting dogs.

  Pit bull terriers were among the dogs recovered during the operation in Co Down, about a mile from a puppy farm which was raided on Thursday night in Katesbridge.

  The Ulster Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) and police recovered around 100 dogs during Thursday’s raid.

  The puppies were rescued from appalling conditions during a six-hour overnight operation. The original raid was sparked when boxer dogs were spotted feeding from the carcass of a cow.

  It is understood equipment used to train fighting dogs was also discovered in yesterday’s operation.

  A USPCA spokesperson said yesterday’s find was significant. “There appears to be a lot more pit bull terriers around these days,” he said. “They have been used for dog fighting.

  “The operation is continuing and it is likely there could be more discoveries.”

Vets were called in to examine the puppies recovered from Thursday night’s operation on a farm building at Katesbridge.

  The puppies have been sent to various locations across Northern Ireland and also included Jack Russells and other dogs.

Tougher laws

The find has prompted politicians to demand tougher laws, including criminal convictions, for cases of animal cruelty.

  Meanwhile, Limerick Animal Welfare organisation has launched an urgent appeal for homes for more than a dozen Christmas puppies abandoned in just under a week.  At least 12 dogs have been found abandoned in various parts of the city and county since last Friday and foster homes or permanent homes are being urgently sought.

 One pup recovered two days ago is just 10 months old and was picked up after he was knocked down while wandering the streets.

  Anyone who can offer a home to one of the abandoned Christmas puppies can contact Limerick Animal Welfare at 087 6371044 or 061 336740.

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.”