A MAN from Yorkshire who urged his dog to attack and kill badgers kept footage of the brutal fights on his phone.
Magistrate Ann Scott wiped away tears while watching several videos of animal fights that Anthony Lee, 23, had recorded for his own “twisted and sick kicks”.
Lee was jailed for 23 weeks at Bradford Magistrates’ Court after a case the RSPCA said was “as bad as one can get”.
In the footage, Lee’s dog Bracken and others could be seen fighting badgers, Lee and a friend can be heard laughing “hysterically” and a badger is killed, prosecutor Nigel Monaghan said.
Mr Monaghan said: “In terms of animal cruelty the RSPCA regard this case as bad in terms of suffering and cruelty as one can get.”
Lee had previously admitted three counts of animal fighting and was given three concurrent 23-week sentences for the crimes.
In the first video, a badger could be heard squealing alongside the sound of “hysterical laughter” from Lee and another person, Mr Monaghan said. A second video showed a badger being killed after being shaken around in Bracken’s mouth while another dog had hold of it.
Badgers suffer an “extreme amount of pain” as a result of badger baiting, Mr Monaghan said.
He said: “Badgers are robust animals, they don’t die easily. They suffer multiple bites, punctures and external and internal bleeding.”
Lee, of Coronation Way, Keighley, was given a three-week discount on the maximum sentence because he pleaded guilty.
Chairman of the bench Robert Thornton said: “This is the most serious case we can think of.”
RSPCA investigator Carroll Lamport said badger baiters did not gain financially.
He said: “It is just for their own twisted and sick kicks and there is a really high level of cruelty.”
Lee was caught after information from a member of the public and on Facebook was passed to the RSPCA.
Mr Lamport said badger baiting was “rife” in the area.
“I am very pleased with that sentence. It is a very sensible sentence and I think it is a strong deterrent,” he added.