Cornwall

Facebook fox attack video: Men laughed as dog set on fox

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Media captionDog let loose in deadly attack on fox

Two men who laughed as they set a dog on a young fox and posted films of the attack on Facebook have been sentenced.

Jack Crocker, 41, of Chacewater, Cornwall, and Robbie Long, 21, of Redruth, were given suspended sentences after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Crocker encouraged his saluki dog to attack and kill the fox on his farm in June, Bodmin Magistrates' Court heard.

The RSPCA became aware after films of the incident were posted by Long.

The court heard how the young fox got into a barn where chickens and a pet rabbit were kept.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Jack Crocker was convicted of animal cruelty charges at Bodmin Magistrates' Court that emerged after posts were put on Facebook

A video filmed by Long, of Lower Tolgullow Vean Farm, showed the dog, called Lady, being taken into the barn by Crocker, where it found the fox and gripped it around the neck.

The fox then appeared to escape and jumped into a neighbouring barn.

'Deliberate and cruel'

A second video showed Crocker, of High View Farm, taking the dog into the second barn and pushing it towards the fox, prompting it to carry out a two-minute attack, during which the fox died.

Judge Diana Baker said: "The fox went on to the land voluntarily. He [Crocker] had the right to protect his animals and to dispatch the fox, but he had to do so humanely.

"The DVD clearly shows him encouraging the dog to attack the fox. Most concerning there were howls of laughter during the two minutes.

"This action is deliberate and cruel."

The men have not been disqualified from keeping animals but two dogs have been removed from the farm.

Crocker had previously pleaded guilty to shooting a wild rabbit with a bow. This also only came to light when the RSPCA became aware of a photo on Facebook.

Both were given six-week jail sentences for causing unnecessary suffering to the fox, and Crocker received an additional two weeks for the bow offence.

The sentences are suspended for 12 months.

RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs said: "We hope this case being brought before the court will encourage others to report any concerns they have about animal welfare to the police or RSPCA."

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