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Man jailed after video shows him hitting badger with a spade


A Neath man has been sent to prison for 22 weeks, after a video showed him hitting a badger with a spade while it was being baited by four dogs.

Terrier used for badger baiting © RSPCA

Liam Moran, from Neath, pleaded guilty to seven offences at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 29 January.

The offences were:

  • causing unnecessary suffering to a brown terrier type dog - known as Josh - by exposing him to another animal resulting in injury
  • unnecessary suffering to a tan and black terrier type bitch by failing to provide her with necessary veterinary care following injury
  • not ensuring that four dogs were protected from pain, suffering or injury by exposing the animals to risk of injury with other animals.

There were also four offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, that on or about 9 October 2016 he wilfully injured a badger and cruelly ill treated a badger. And on or about 9 December 2016 he willfully injured a badger and cruelly ill treated a badger.

Dogs with scars, scabs and severe injuries

The court was shown the video from October 2016 of four dogs attacking a badger, Moran hitting it with a spade and then being stabbed by an unknown male. There were also pictures shown at the hearing showing dogs attacking a badger from December 2016.

The video was found on Moran’s phone which was obtained following a police warrant at his home address.

Josh the terrier with missing eye © RSPCA

At his property, our inspectors in March found three dogs with scars and scabs. Terrier Josh was also missing an eye and had a severe jaw injury which had healed. They also found items including:

  • Dettol and other antiseptic products
  • a blood-stained skin stapler and staples
  • skin glue,
  • a lamping light
  • spades
  • metal bars
  • tablets given to dogs to boost their muscles and increase their stamina

During a second warrant in June our inspectors found four dogs, three exhibiting additional injuries which had been inflicted since the first warrant.

The images and footage in this case are horrific

Chief Inspector Ian Briggs, from our special operations unit, said:

The images and footage in this case are truly horrific and it's extremely shocking to see such deliberate cruelty.

Badger baiting has been in existence since medieval times and even though it was banned in 1835 it still continues today.

It's a barbaric activity which inflicts terrible suffering on both badgers and frequently the dogs involved.

Moran was sentenced to 22 weeks of custody, disqualified from driving for 30 months and handed a lifetime disqualification of keeping dogs.

Seven dogs that were seized during warrants have been confiscated by the court and are now in our care.

Learn more about our prosecution work and the cruelty cases we deal with.

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