A FORMER gamekeeper who stabbed a wild boar in the Forest of Dean and set his dogs on it has been jailed for 18 weeks and banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.
Luke Rix, 32, of Gilks Lane, Oxhill, Warwickshire used his dogs to hunt the wild animals, and filmed them attacking and injuring the boar before he inhumanely slaughtered it.
Cheltenham magistrates heard that Rix was exposed when an ex-partner stumbled across the video on his iPad.
Police raided his home with RSPCA inspectors, and videos and photographs were found including a clip showing two dogs – including his dog Gunner – mauling the boar after Rix had stabbed it.
Rix can be heard urging “look at that boys – big pig – go on boys” and the dogs can be seen latched onto the neck of the boar as it screams.
Another film included chat about the boar hunt, while other films and photos showed dogs ripping apart a fox, dogs with injuries and terriers tormenting a caged rat.
A vet who examined Gunner found he had a fracture of the upper right canine, missing upper incisors and lower worn lower incisors, and dental disease that would have caused constant pain for three years.
RSPCA prosecutor Lindi Meyer told the court: “The incident with the boar was not an isolated incident and shows he has used his dogs in other situations to set upon a wild animal and that this is a game to him which he will glorify by filming and bragging by distributing it.
“Rix showed no remorse for his actions and believes hunting to be a way of life.”
A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said after the hearing: “He had been travelling to the Forest of Dean to commit the crimes, and last year our Rural Crime Team, alongside the RSPCA, conducted a warrant at an address in Broadwell, Moreton-In-Marsh
“Inside Rix’s home on Broadwell Hill, police found electronic devices with evidence on, protective Kevlar dog vests which act as body armour, and also special dog collars that were used to protect the dogs from injury when attacking animals.”
Magistrates heard that officers had been investigating reports that Rix was using his dogs for baiting wild boar and illegally hunting other wild animals.
From the seized devices, previously deleted videos from his social media accounts were forensically retrieved revealing numerous crimes under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Rix admitted counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a boar and his two dogs, and as well as jail and a ban on keeping dogs, he was ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.
One of Rix’s dogs has already been rehomed, and the other is in the process of being rehomed.
A spokesperson for the Rural Crime Team said: “These acts of cruelty to animals are horrendous, and we will not tolerate this in our beautiful countryside - they cause a huge disturbance to our rural communities and create fear.
“The Rural Crime Team will continue to work with partner agencies to bring criminals to justice and help protect the counties wildlife and it’s rural residents.”