29 February 2000
Terriermen face cruelty action

TERRIERMEN face prosecution for cruelty if they send their dogs into fox or badger holes, the High Court has ruled.

In what the RSPCA called a landmark ruling, two judges upheld the conviction and jailing of two terriermen under the 1911 Protection of Animals Act.

But the decision could concern country sports supporters fighting to stop a Private Members Bill sponsored by Ken Livingstone, which would ban hunting with dogs, reportsThe Daily Telegraph.

The High Court ruling said anyone sending a terrier into a confined space where it would be injured by a larger carnivore could face prosecution.

Badgers are already protected by separate legislation, but the case had been less clear on foxes.

The Countryside Alliance said terrier work was not a sport but an important part of pest control.