In October last year the Scottish SPCA, supported by Police Scotland, executed search warrants at a number of addresses in Angus and Aberdeenshire as part of an intelligence-led investigation in to suspected animal fighting at those locations (see here).
A number of dogs were seized and an SSPCA investigator was later quoted as saying the dogs had ‘injuries consistent with animal fighting‘ (see here).
It later emerged that one of those raided properties was on the Millden Estate in the Angus Glens and that the estate had immediately suspended an employee pending further investigation (here). It was later reported that the suspended employee was a gamekeeper (here).
It was also reported that the police had recovered dead buzzards although the number of carcasses and the circumstances of the alleged discoveries were not reported.
[One of several newspaper headlines following the SSPCA/police raid in October 2019]
Since the raids there have been no further updates, until now.
A man has been charged with a number of alleged animal welfare offences. An inspector from the SSPCA’s Special Investigations Unit told me:
“We can confirm that a report for Animal Welfare offences under Sec 19, 23 and 24 has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal following a joint operation with Police Scotland in October of 2019“.
These offences relate to the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
Section 19 concerns offences related to unnecessary suffering.
Section 23 concerns offences related to animal fights.
Section 24 concerns offences related to ensuring the welfare of animals.
This case was due to be heard last week but it has since been continued for another preliminary hearing on 11th May 2021 and a trial date has been set for 2nd June 2021.
In relation to the reported discovery of a number of dead buzzards I asked Police Scotland for an update on the investigation. Here is the statement released by the Police:
“We can confirm that a Police Scotland investigation remains ongoing in relation to search warrants which were executed at an address in Angus in October 2019. As part of these enquires, we can confirm that a 27-year-old man was reported to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to firearms offences. Officers will continue to work with the Scottish SPCA and partner agencies as the investigation continues.”
PLEASE NOTE, as there are live court proceedings and an ongoing investigation into other alleged offences, comments will not be published on this post until criminal proceedings have concluded. Thanks.
UPDATE 2 November 2021: New trial date set for Millden Estate gamekeeper accused of animal fighting offences (here)