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Man avoids jail over badger dig

14 March 2006 - BBC News

Tony BillingtonA man who snatched badgers from their sett has been given 200 hours community service and banned from keeping dogs.

Tony Billington, 37, travelled from his home in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, to take the animals from a sett near Loggerheads in Staffordshire.

RSPCA officers found a badger carcass, the body of a cub and a trail of blood across a field in January 2004.

Billington, who could have been jailed, was also fined 1,000 for badger digging by Cannock magistrates.

The crime involves widening the opening of a sett and sending dogs such as terriers in to flush out the badgers.

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