A Fife man who used a Staffie and bull lurchers to hunt wild animals has been banned from keeping dogs for five years.
When animal welfare officers from the Scottish SPCA searched Martin Davidson’s home in Lochore they found hunting gear, photographs of canines with dead animals and an eight-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier named Lady with significant scarring to her muzzle and lower jaw.
A Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector, who cannot be named due to undercover operations, said: “These injuries are consistent with animal fighting, in particular badger baiting.”
Lady and three bull lurchers named Tramp, Mojo and Sid, were found in poor condition and were not registered with a vet.
Davidson, 24, was convicted of two charges under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
He was not in court when the case was called on Thursday and Sheriff Alastair Brown banned him from owning or being in charge of dogs for five years.
The sheriff also made a deprivation order, which means the Scottish SPCA, which has custody of the four dogs, can now set about finding the animals loving homes.
“We received intelligence that Davidson was keeping and training dogs for the purposes of animal fighting,” said the Scottish SPCA inspector.
“The three lurchers were found outdoors in a kennel and run in the rear garden, far too small for their size and breed. Two had obvious, fresh injuries to their ears and heads.
“We also found animal fighting paraphernalia at Davidson’s residence. This included hunting gear, blood stained wellies and a spot lamp commonly using for lamping with dogs, which is hunting at night.
“Multiple images were discovered of his dogs pictured with dead animals at night. Some featured the dogs viciously gripping foxes between their jaws.”
Davidson, of Abbotsford Road, pled guilty to keeping dogs for animal fighting and failing to ensure that their needs were met.
The second charge stated the bull lurchers’ accommodation was too small and they could not exhibit normal behaviour, and were liable to attack each other causing injury and suffering.
The inspector added: “During interview, Davidson admitted that the four dogs were not registered with a vet and did not receive any medication or treatment to ease their suffering from any of the injuries they had sustained.
“Other photos showed Lady, Tramp, Mojo and Sid in the back of Davidson’s vehicle at night with fresh injuries. Our expert vets determined these were consistent with animal fighting, specifically with badgers and foxes.
“The disregard that Davidson had for the welfare of the wild animals he forced his dogs to fight, and for his own dogs, is unfathomable. The dogs are in our care and are currently receiving the rehabilitation they need.
“If anyone has any information pertaining to individuals who are involved in this activity, we would urge them to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
Sheriff Brown called for reports, including a restriction of liberty order assessment, and Davidson will be sentenced on October 2.