BORDERS women are among the main targets of the Scottish SPCA’s latest appeal to help it tackle one of the most horrific of all wildlife crimes.
Badger baiting, like most forms of animal fighting, is predominantly an activity conducted by men and Scotland’s leading animal welfare charity wants to encourage wives, girlfriends and family members to speak out against this barbaric pursuit.
The Scottish SPCA has received intelligence relating to badger baiting activities taking place across the country, with the Borders one area where investigators know it is definitely taking place.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn says those involved in badger baiting manage to conceal their activities very well.
“Some of the information we receive about animal fighting comes from female partners, friends and family members who are quite rightly disgusted to discover that their husband, boyfriend, brother or son is involved in such an extremely cruel activity,” he told us.
“Many are distraught when a partner returns home with their dog suffering from terrible injuries. The baiters will regularly self-treat the dogs rather than take them to a vet and be exposed.
“This can result in a dog’s suffering being prolonged and, in some cases, the animals simply die from their injuries and infection or indeed are killed by their owner.”
The dogs recovered by Scottish SPCA staff are often severely scarred around the muzzle and face, many have damage to their eyes and broken teeth and in some cases have even had skin stripped from their faces by a badger’s powerful claws and teeth. Some also have leg and shoulder injuries.
A spokesperson for the organisation’s undercover special investigations unit – who must remain anonymous – added: “We have specific intelligence that badger digging is happening in the Borders.
“In the last year, a number of such cases have gone to court, both successfully and unsuccessfully.
We would ask anyone who sees someone acting suspiciously with injured dogs, or who knows of injured dogs being kept in kennels, sheds or gardens. to get in touch with us.
Likewise, if anyone sees men with spades and terriers, possibly on land without permission, they should also contact us. We would much rather investigate a call and find out it is nothing than not be told at all.
“People will not be wasting our time. We will welcome all their calls.”
Anyone with information relating to this type of crime is asked to contact the animal helpline on 03000 999 999 and all information is treated in the strictest confidence and can be left anonymously.