North Yorkshire badger killings: Four jailed
Four men who set a pack of 13 dogs on two badgers have been jailed for 16 weeks.
Scarborough Magistrates' Court heard how a group of six men and a teenage boy dug out and killed two badgers on farmland at Howsham, near York, in January 2011.
An RSPCA inspector involved in the case said it was the worst incident of badger baiting he had ever seen.
Two other men received 12-week suspended sentences.
Sobia Ahmed, prosecuting, said the dogs played tug-of-war with one of the badgers before it was shot in the head and slung into undergrowth, while a pregnant badger was torn to pieces and bled to death.
'Horrific and barbaric'
Speaking after the sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Geoff Edmond said: "I was there on the day and was responsible for removing a pregnant badger which had been buried in a hole, which had been ripped to bits by dogs.
"That's horrific, barbaric, and these badgers had been tortured by these dogs on that day."
Three men from York - Alan Alexander, 32, of Bramham Close, Richard Simpson, 37, of Wains Road, and Paul Ian Tindall, 31, of Bramham Grove, - along with William Edward Anderson, 26, of Hillside, Cropton Lane, Pickering, were jailed for 16 weeks after being found guilty of wilfully killing a badger, hunting a mammal with dogs, digging for badgers and interfering with a badger sett.
Alexander and Simpson were also convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Christopher Martin Holmes, 28, of Bell Farm Avenue, York, and Malcolm David Warner, 28, of Princess Drive, York, were handed 12-week custodial sentences suspended for 12 months after they pleaded guilty to wilfully killing a badger, digging for badgers and interfering with a badger sett.
A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a youth rehabilitation order.
An eighth person, James Doyle from Westfield Avenue, Knottingley, was acquitted.