Man banned from owning dogs after injured pet trained for animal fighting
Liam Taylor, 32, of Deyhill, Aberdeenshire, was sentenced under Section 23 1 (a) of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 at Banff Sheriff Court on 3 November.
He was also handed a one year supervision order and 240 hours of unpaid work after a Scottish SPCA investigation.
The charity’s special investigation unit received intelligence that Taylor was involved in animal fighting.
Undercover inspectors, with assistance from Police Scotland, attended Taylor’s address in October 2019 and found Brock plus another dog at the property.
An undercover inspector from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit said: “Brock had very obvious, painful looking facial injuries. There was damage to his nose and his right nostril had been partially removed. There was also degloving to the nose area.
“He had puncture wound and scars over the top of his muzzle, head and face. Brock also had an injury to the lower jaw which looked fresh and painful. These injuries are consistent with animal fighting. As well as the facial wounds, Brock also had an injury to his front paw and he was finding it hard to put weight on it.
“We removed Brock from the property and took him for immediate veterinary attention.”
A toolbox was found in Taylor’s home with what appeared to be a home veterinary kit. It included a staple gun covered in dried blood, syringes and needles as well as other medical products. DNA results strongly indicated the item had been in contact with Brock.
DNA sampling from a knife of Taylor’s provided strong support that the knife had been in contact with both badger and roe deer.
A full veterinary examination determined that Brock had been used repeatedly for animal fighting which had resulted in multiple disfiguring injuries, the most damaging of which are consistent with face-to-face combat with a badger.
The special investigations unit inspector continues: “Badger baiting and animal fighting is a horrific crime, most often viewed as ‘sport’ by those to take part in it.
"The lack of care or regard Taylor showed for wild animals and for Brock is just disgusting. If Taylor had kept forcing Brock to fight, then who knows what would have been the outcome for him.
“Badgers can be lethal and we have had to put animals to sleep in the past due to the injuries they sustained during a fight with a badger. But it’s also unimaginable horror for the badgers who are forced to fight for their lives. It rarely ends well for the badger, often they are mothers trying to protect their young.
“We want to send a very clear message to those taking part in animal fighting in Scotland. We will do everything we can to stop animals suffering and bring those involved to justice.
“The public are our eyes and ears so we would urge anyone who knows anyone involved in animal fighting to come forward. If it’s someone close to you, then calls can be treated confidentially and sensitively but please do contact us. We can help.”
Anyone with concerns about animal fighting can contact the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline in confidence. The number is 03000 999 999.