A twisted gamekeeper has been jailed for eight months after it came to light he had been using his dogs for fights and sharing images of people with dead animals.
Rhys Davies, 28, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs under his care and keeping or training dogs for the purposes of animal fights.
When handed his sentence he was also slapped with a 15-year ban on gamekeeping at Forfar Sheriff Court in Scotland on Monday.
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The sicko had been living in Wales and working in Scotland in 2019 before he was taken down,WalesOnlinereports.
Following a tip-off, the Scottish SPCA searched Turnabrae house on Millden Estate in Angus after receiving information that he was using his animals to fight and bait wild animals.
In May 2019 he sent off 50 photographs to be printed containing severely-injured dogs and people posing with dead animals.
The investigators found 11 dogs at the property in outbuildings and a vet confirmed that they had both historic and fresh injuries on them.
They said that the injuries were most likely caused by fighting with wild animals like badgers and foxes.
Badger DNA was found on a collar there.
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Lola, a Patterdale terrier, was found to have fresh injuries around her jaw while Pip, another Patterdale, had older chest and facial scarring.
Davies’ phone was found to contain discussions about the fights and the treatment of injuries sustained.
Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, said: “All of the hallmarks of a person involved in animal fighting can be found in this case. This includes attempting to treat serious injuries without a vet, bragging to others about those injuries and trying to get ‘trophies’ such as photos as keepsakes of those fights.
“Our special investigations unit lead the way when it comes to taking on these organised, brutal groups involved in animal fights. This was an incredibly sophisticated investigation which made it plain as day the accused was guilty and helped to uncover a wider network of individuals involved in heinous animal fights.
“A custodial sentence sends a real message to anyone who wants to use dogs to bait and maim wildlife that they will be punished for it. Wildlife persecution is a scourge.
“No animal deserves to be subjected to any pain or suffering, let alone at the level Mr Davies subjected his own dogs and wild animals to. Today, Mr Davies has found that animal abuse is unacceptable and comes with major consequences.”
The head of the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit of Scotland's Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Karon Rollo, told WalesOnline: “Animal fighting is a cruel illegal activity which causes terrible and unnecessary suffering to animals. The evidence clearly shows the scope of the involvement Rhys Davies had with an organised group that took pleasure in killing wild animals in such a wicked and inhumane manner.
“I welcome the sentence and the granting of the order preventing him from keeping animals for 15 years. I would like to thank Police Scotland and the Scottish SPCA for their part in investigating and gathering evidence of these offences.
“Hopefully this prosecution and the sentence will serve as a message to others who would cause such suffering that there are consequences and that they will be held to account for their actions and could also lose their liberty. COPFS will continue to work to ensure those who participate in these barbaric practices are prosecuted and would encourage anyone who may have information on animal fighting to contact Police Scotland or the Scottish SPCA."
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