Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 16:51 UK

Men sentenced for badger digging


The men were found guilty of six charges

Two men have been given suspended jail sentences for using dogs to drive badgers out of setts in Shropshire.

Paul Billington, 27, of Rossett in Wrexham, and Gerard Monk, 37, of Wheelton, Lancashire, were jailed for four months, suspended for 18 months.

Both were found guilty in June of six charges including trying to kill a badger, interfering with setts and hunting with dogs.

Billington and Monk were banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Both men were also ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

'Inhumane and cruel'

Billington, 37, of Llydir Lane, and Monk, of Millbrook Close, had been digging at setts near Whitchurch, Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court heard.

Outside court, RSPCA Ch Insp Ian Briggs said: "Badger digging is inhumane and cruel, causing suffering not only to badgers, but also to the dogs used for this barbaric activity.

"The sentence passed by the court shows if anyone is caught badger digging faces a severe punishment."

Both men were also ordered to pay costs of £6,188 each.

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