Last year an abandoned patterdale terrier, was found in the Carnwath/Carluke area, with injuries consistent with badger baiting. Such was their severity that the dog had to be put down by vets. An investigation by the Scottish SPCA’s elite undercover Special Investigation Unit led them to Conran Connor, 21 of Wishaw. An undercover inspector said “Our investigation led to the home of Connor and with a warrant, we discovered evidence to suggest he was engaging in animal fighting. We recovered proof that Connor had held conversations specific to purchasing dogs for, and discussing, animal fighting. Other items recovered from the house included numerous magazines and books relating specifically to hunting and fighting dogs with wild animals, hunting clothes, devices used to lure foxes called fox callers, a torch identical to one found during the excavation of a badger sett and knives, many of which were subsequently found to have badger blood and DNA. We were able to gather the DNA evidence thanks to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA). Multiple items found matched those in Connor’s possession of him posing with dead wild animals and his three dogs. Other images confirmed his presence at badger baiting sites and showed his own dogs at the entrance to a badger sett. There were also men digging into the ground at night in woodland. This is an activity carried out as part of the badger baiting process. Other pictures include a dog with injuries consistent with badger fighting.”
Such was the level of evidence gathered by the SSPCA investigators that Connor was left with little alternative but to plead guilty when he appeared in court in January this year. Sentence was deferred for reports and when he appeared again he was jailed for 21 weeks and banned from owning and being in control of an animal for 15 years.
This case shows once again the vile, depraved behaviour of those who set dogs to fight and kill badgers and other wild mammals. It also shows the extremely effective intelligence gathering and investigatory skills of the Scottish SPCA’s undercover unit. Congratulations and thanks to them.