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Fife man pleads guilty to animal fighting following Scottish SPCA investigation

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Davidson's dog with injuries

A man has plead guilty to training his four dogs to violently bait wild animals following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA.

23-year-old Martin Davidson was found in possession of videos showing his dogs attacking foxes and posing with injured and dead animals.

Davidson of Abbotsford Road, Lochore plead guilty to training his dogs for animal fighting, including badger baiting, and for failing to provide veterinary treatment to an injured dog in his care at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on 27 August.

The sheriff sentenced Davidson to an immediate interim ban which stops him from owning, keeping or dealing with dogs for the next five years. The sheriff may update this order when Davidson returns to court for sentencing on 2 October.

Three of the dogs involved in the case were male, brindle coloured bull lurchers named Tramp, Mojo and Sid. The other was a female, white and tan, Staffordshire bull terrier named Lady.

A Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector, who cannot be named due to undercover operations, 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.

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Image of animal fighting

“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. By ordering this, the sheriff is recognising the immediate threat that Davidson poses to any canine in his care. We look forward to the full sentencing in this case.

“Sadly these types of offences are not uncommon across Scotland, causing serious distress, injury and suffering to the dogs and wild animals. The Scottish SPCA Special Investigation Unit is dedicated to combatting animal fighting and specialise in dealing with these types of offences. We would encourage the public to reports suspicions in confidence.

“If anyone has any information pertaining to individuals who are involved in this activity, we would urge them to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”