Badger baiting raids: Three men arrested and dogs seized

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Media captionThe RSPCA said badger baiting "inflicts terrible suffering"

Three men have been arrested and eight dogs seized after a series of raids in North and West Yorkshire.

The joint operation by police and the RSPCA follows an investigation into badger baiting.

Raids were carried out simultaneously on Wednesday morning at three houses in Eggborough, North Yorkshire and Knottingley, West Yorkshire.

One man from Eggborough and two from Knottingley are being questioned by the RSPCA.

As well as the dogs, other items were seized including mobile phones.

'Serious stance'

Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 it is an offence to dig for a badger or damage a badger sett.

RSPCA chief inspector Justin Le Masurier said: "Badger baiting inflicts terrible suffering on both the badgers and frequently the dogs."

North Yorkshire Police wildlife officer PC Sarah Ward said: "Two or three years ago we were having numerous complaints every night about poaching and badgers being found dead.

"North Yorkshire Police have taken a very serious stance on this and we have lowered the number of incidents."

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