Badger baiting terrier found with 'half her jaw missing'

Badger baiting terrier found with 'half her jaw missing'

We're investigating after a terrier was found wandering along a country lane in Derbyshire with 'half her jaw missing'.

A member of the public found the little, black Patterdale terrier trotting along Horsleygate Road in Dronfield at around 2pm on Wednesday afternoon (23 September). They contacted us and our inspector Dan Bradshaw went out to collect her.

Suspected to be used in badger baiting

Dan said:

"She's an adult female Patterdale terrier type who appears to be older in age. She isn't microchipped but was wearing a red collar with a locator on it.

Grace the terrier used in badger baiting © RSPCA

"Her face is an absolute mess, practically half of her bottom jaw is missing. The injuries to her muzzle are horrendous and are typical of the injuries we see in dogs who have been used in badger baiting and digging."

Badger baiting was banned in 1835 along with other blood sports such as dog fighting and bear baiting. Badger digging - which sees dogs sent into a sett to locate a badger and alert its handler who will then dig down to the tunnel to remove the badger - was banned in 1973. In both digging and baiting it is not only the badger who suffers serious injuries but the dogs too.

Badger baiting is barbaric for all animals involved

Dan continued:

"We find small terrier-type dogs will be sent down into holes and setts to locate badgers, cornering them and alerting their handlers. The dogs often have radio transmitters attached to their collars so phone apps and GPS locators can be used to find them underground easily. The dogs will pin or hold the badgers in place while their owners dig down to them.

"The badger, which is clearly terrified and very distressed, will usually fight back and lunge at the dogs from below. Dogs used in this hideous pastime tend to have awful injuries to their bottom jaws, noses and faces, as well as their chests and front legs.

"The badger will then be dragged out by the hunters who will then set bigger, stronger dogs on them to fight or kill them. It's absolutely barbaric, for the badger and the dogs."

Despite how she's been treated she's still a lovely dog

It's believed this terrier - now named Grace - was being used for badger digging when she ran off or got lost.

Dan added:

"Grace has these classic injuries. Her bottom jaw has been badly damaged with extensive bite marks around her nose and muzzle. Her jaw is badly infected and she's now receiving veterinary treatment and will have x-rays to establish the extent of her injuries.

"She's a friendly, old girl who deserves so much better but has clearly been used for some time for this hideous blood sport, with little regard for her health and welfare."

Anyone with information please contact us

We've now launched an investigation and is appealing for witnesses to come forward with information that may assist enquiries. Anyone who knows where Grace has come from or who her owners are should call the inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Anyone who suspects someone of badger baiting or digging should contact our emergency and cruelty hotline on 0300 1234 999.