A MAN who made dogs fight badgers and foxes has avoided jail

Liam Talbot, of Rowan Road in Weaverham, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

The 27-year-old admitted to making dogs fight with foxes and badgers, causing unnecessary suffering to a bull lurcher cross-type dog named Cid by failing to provide vet care and attention for an injury to his upper left canine tooth.

Talbot was sentenced to 16 weeks custody but this was suspended for 18 months.

He has also been banned from keeping any animal for three years

Chief inspector Ian Muttit, from the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit (SOU), said: “Badger baiting has been illegal for more than 180 years, yet we still find people spending their time inflicting sickening pain, suffering and misery on animals in this way.

“It is also horrifying to see that perpetrators are then creating videos glorifying attacks on wildlife and flagrantly posting them on social media for others to view.

"We will continue to stand up for animals involved in wildlife persecution and for the dogs often caught up in these horrifying attacks.

“We would very much like to thank The Naturewatch Foundation for their initial investigations and also Cheshire Police.”


The fights were uncovered through the defendant's social media posts, with Talbot uploading compilation videos of images to TikTok.

These videos were found as a result of investigations by The Naturewatch Foundation and were subsequently passed across to the police and RSPCA.

One video showed images of a person with a lamp at their waist, holding a black and white Lurcher-type dog by the collar with his left hand and a fox in his right hand.

The compilation video also shows images of a person holding up a fox whilst with a black and white Lurcher-type dog; while another person is shown holding a Lurcher-type dog on a lead in his right hand and a fox in his left hand. The fox has an injury to its hindquarters. 

Another TikTok compilation videos show three dogs attacking a fox, two dogs attacking a badger, and other images of foxes and dogs.

A police warrant took place at Wolvesley Place in Winsford on February 22 last year, during which two dogs belonging to Talbot were found.

Pepper, a nine-year-old female tan bull lurcher and Cid a nine-year-old male black bull lurcher, both had scarring to their faces and chests and were present in the aforementioned digital evidence.

A written statement from an expert veterinary surgeon said they had examined several videos that showed a 'number of dogs in circumstances suggestive of those dogs being used for the purpose of hunting wild mammals'.

In his conclusions, he said Cid would have suffered as a consequence of an injury to the left upper canine tooth.

He said: “Once removed the tooth was described as being rotten, suggesting a timescale of at least 10 days, probably longer.”

Northwich Guardian: One of the dogs had to be treated for a rotten toothOne of the dogs had to be treated for a rotten tooth (Image: RSPCA)

After viewing video footage he said that both dogs - Pepper and Cid, were "repeatedly placed in circumstances that exposed them to injury by fighting with wild mammals such as a fox and/or badger.

He “The skin scars found to be present on both of these dogs are consistent with injury via such a mechanism.”

At Chester Magistrates on Monday (January 8), Talbot was also given a community order with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a six-month mental health treatment requirement.

Meanwhile, two dogs involved in the case were handed over to the RSPCA and Talbot was ordered to pay £500 costs and a £154 victim surcharge.

Pepper and Cid will now be rehomed.

Northwich Guardian: One of the many graphic images included in the TikTok compilationsOne of the many graphic images included in the TikTok compilations (Image: RSPCA)