A MAN from Oxhill who filmed himself hunting wildlife has been jailed and banned from keeping dogs.
Luke Rix, of Gilks Lane, was jailed for 18 weeks and disqualified from keeping dogs for a decade after admitting three offences following an investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA.
The animal welfare charity had been contacted after videos and images were discovered on an iPad belonging to the 32 year-old by his former partner.
They showed hunting and persecution of wild mammals using two dogs who were left injured as a result.
Inspectors from the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit (SOU) – a specialist investigations team who look into serious, organised and large-scale animal cruelty – joined the officers from Gloucestershire
Police when they carried out a warrant at an address in Broadwell, Moreton-In-Marsh, where his phone was seized and his dogs examined by a vet.
A number of videos and photographs were found. One clip contained disturbing footage of Rix filming whilst two dogs – one being his dog Gunner – attacked a wild boar.
Rix can be heard to be encouraging the dogs saying “look at that boys – big pig- go on boys” and the dogs can be seen latched onto the neck area of the boar as it screams in pain and distress. The boar was already bleeding from a wound caused by Rix stabbing it.
A veterinary expert concluded that the boar would have experienced unnecessary suffering in the form of pain and fear.
While the vet who examined Gunner found he had a fracture of the upper right canine, missing upper incisors and had lower worn lower incisors and marked dental disease that was so severe the vet felt this would have caused pain for at least three years.
Records showed he had not seen a vet since 2019 and following his rescue, Gunner had to have more than 20 teeth removed.
In an interview, Rix said he had always hunted and had previously been a gamekeeper. He admitted the offences and was sentenced at the same hearing on October 17.
RSPCA solicitor Lindi Meyer, who represented the charity in court, said: “Other seized videos and photos showed dogs ripping apart a fox, dogs with injuries, terriers tormenting a caged rat, and discussions of boar, badger and fox hunting, and conversations with people on social media regarding his hunting exploits.
“Whilst not the subject of criminal charges, all this relevant background information found on his devices shows that 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. It also shows that he is prepared to put his dogs at risk.”
In mitigation, it was said Rix was going through a difficult time in his life because of the breakdown of a relationship and issues with his business.
Alongside the prison sentence and ten year disqualification from keeping dogs, Rix was ordered to pay £500 costs and a £128 victim surcharge when he was sentenced at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on October 17.
The court also issued a deprivation order for Gunner, who had been seized by police and placed in the care of the RSPCA, which means he can now be rehomed by the charity.