Man admits training dogs to fight wild animals

A man who trained his dogs to fight wild animals and then took trophy photos has been banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Martin Davidson, 23, of Lochore, Fife, admitted training his bull lurchers Tramp, Mojo and Sid and Staffordshire bull terrier Lady to fight animals, including badgers.

He also pleaded guilty at Dunfermline Sheriff Court to failing to ensure the welfare of his animals.

A Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector, who cannot be named due to undercover operations, said their investigation found Davidson had videos showing his dogs attacking foxes and posing with injured and dead animals.

Davidson was given an interim ban preventing him from owning, being in charge of or in possession of any dog for five years.

Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence to October 2 for background reports.

Following the court hearing on Thursday, the Scottish SPCA inspector said: “We received intelligence that Davidson was keeping and training dogs for the purposes of animal fighting.

“We obtained a search warrant and gained entry to the home of Davidson, where we found the four dogs.

“The Staffordshire bull terrier, Lady, was in the house. She had significant scarring to her muzzle and lower jaw. These injuries are consistent with animal fighting, in particular badger baiting.

“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.

“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.

“We are pleased the sheriff issued the immediate ban which will stop Davidson owning or having any dealings with dogs.”

The inspector said such crimes are not uncommon in Scotland and urged anyone with information regarding them to call the Scottish SPCA confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.