Confiscate Alan Hills dogs under the Animal Welfare Act
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Today the media celebrates the success of the Hunting act, as 3 Herefordshire men are prosecuted for illegally hunting. However this is not the full story, and unfortunately justice has still not been served. In the early evening of Wednesday 29th October 2014, local police pulled over a car towing a trailer carrying a quad bike for a routine traffic offence. However things escalated when one of the men, Alan Hill, grabbed a bag from the vehicle and ran across a field with it. After the police gave chase Hill was caught and the police found a live fox inside the bag, which promptly escaped into the wilderness.
Now under suspicion of animal welfare offences, the 3 men: Alan Hill, James Smith and Jack Hudd, were taken into police custody. A search of the vehicle revealed 3 small terrier dogs contained in 2 small crates attached to the quad bike. The dogs were dirty and wet but also obviously bleeding from facial injuries and so veterinary assistance was called for, and the dogs were taken for a thorough examination. The condition of the female was even more shocking. She had obtained a previous injury resulting in her lower lip under her bottom jaw being completely ripped off, leaving only hairless scar tissue to much of the underside of her face. To accompany this were multiple fresh wounds to her upper lip and muzzle, including one very close to her left eye, and another resulting in a large swelling of her upper lip. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the female was also heavily pregnant….
However, the fate of the female now affectionately named Poppet, her 5 puppies, and the 2 males she was found with now hangs in the balance. Although the 3 men, Alan Hill, Jack Hudd and James Smith, were found GUILTY of hunting with dogs, and also GUILTY of not meeting the welfare needs of the fox found in the bag, they were found NOT GUILTY of not meeting the welfare needs of the 3 dogs. Their sentence included a fine and a criminal record but DID NOT include the confiscation of the dogs or a ban from keeping animals.
Section 9 of the Animal Welfare act, for which they were charged, states that: “1) A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice. (2) For the purposes of this Act, an animal's needs shall be taken to include— (a) its need for a suitable environment, (b) its need for a suitable diet, (c) its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, (d) any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and (e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.” Because these men were found NOT GUILTY, all 8 dogs will now be returned to them, and they will likely be forced to return to the “work” that these men made them do which resulted in their permanent disfigurements, pain and suffering. Please sign this petition and join us in calling for the dogs to be confiscated as Alan Hill is not fit to own animals
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