A man plead guilty to five charges of animal cruelty. It comes after the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) raided a man’s house last year. And it found images and videos that showed what the charity described as “some of the worst” it has ever seen.

HORRIFIEC CRUELTY

Callum Muir from Logan, Ayrshire, plead guilty to five charges of animal cruelty at Ayr Sheriff Court on 25 April. Scottish paper the Daily Record reported that Muir’s footage included videos of his dogs ‘degloving’ then pulling a fox apart, and another showing two dogs attacking a fox while Muir stamps on the fox’s head. Muir is heard laughing throughout these videos.

When the SSPCA found Muir’s three dogs, they also bore extensive injuries. Terrier Pip, lurcher Bella and bull lurcher Mig were all heavily scarred across their bodies. Pip and Bella also had broken and missing teeth. Muir’s phone also contained images of other dogs including one with their lower jaw ripped away. The SSPCA found items when searching his home including tracker collars and nets, which can be used in badger baiting.

REACTIONS TO THE EVIDENCE

The Daily Record quoted an SSPCA undercover investigator that worked on the case stating how horrific the case was. He said:

“In my line of work, unfortunately I’ve seen many such videos and images but I can categorically say that these are among the worst I’ve ever viewed.

“The level of cruelty on the videos is staggering.”

And In a tweet following the guilty plea, the SSPCA said Muir was responsible for “some of the worst images and videos of animal abuse we have ever seen”. Meanwhile,, the Scottish Sun reported that Sheriff Siobhan Connelly described it as “the worst case of animal cruelty” she’d seen.

A TEST FOR NEW LAWS

The courts will sentence Muir on 24 May. And it will test Scotland’s newly revised animal welfare laws. The Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020 came into effect on 30 November 2020 It gives courts the power to hand down fines of up to £40,000 and custodial sentences of up to five years.

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