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Interference with a badger sett leads to suspended sentence

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HAVERFORDWEST magistrates have handed suspended jail sentence to a man after he admitted to interference with a badger sett at a site near the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire border. He was also banned from keeping animals by the court.

Matthew Howell Jones, 38, of Jones Street, Tonypandy, also admitted failing to get urgent veterinary treatment for his dog, with the black terrier struggling with “very worrying” injuries that vets say are consistent with an encounter with a badger, or other wild animal.

His dog had alopecia and skin lesions, caused by sarcoptic mange – with a wound to the eye consistent with a tear injury to the lower lid. Despite these problems, Jones did not ensure appropriate veterinary care for the dog.

A veterinary professional said such injuries are “commonly seen following fighting” and would be “consistent with a face-to-face encounter with another dog or a fox or a badger”.

Fortunately, the dog was signed into the RSPCA’s care and ultimately went up for rehoming. He was one of four dogs initially seized as part of the investigation.

RSPCA Cymru was contacted by Police to assist with their enquiries after fears the man had used dogs to interfere with the sett on 20 January 2019.

Police found blood-stained overalls in Jones’ van, though he denied ownership of the clothing. Testing of the blood confirmed it had come from a badger. RSPCA officers later found evidence of one large, freshly dug and back-filled hole at an active badger sett.

Jones was sentenced at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (9 January), after pleaded guilty to one Protection of Badgers Act 1992 offence and one Animal Welfare Act 2006 offence.

He was given a five-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, and disqualified from keeping all animals for four years.

In addition, he has been told to pay £1,000 in costs, a £405 fine and a £115 victim surcharge. Jones was also deprived by the court of all possessions related to the interference with a badger sett – including locating devices and netting.

Chief inspector of the RSPCA’s special operations unit Ian Briggs said: “Interfering with a badger sett in this way is a very serious wildlife crime, and clearly had serious possible impacts both for the dogs involved and wildlife.

“One poor dog in this case was struggling with injuries that clearly needed urgent veterinary care. It’s very worrying that the injuries sustained by the dog are – according to veterinary opinion – consistent with fighting, and a face-to-face encounter with wildlife, such as a fox or a badger.

“This case is yet another example of the RSPCA’s efforts to tackle crimes against Wales’ wildlife.”

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Police investigate ‘Chinese government vehicle’ spotted near Puma Oil Terminal

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POLICE have confirmed that they are conducting “the appropriate enquiries” after a suspicious vehicle was spotted in the vicinity of Puma Oil Terminal on Saturday afternoon (Aug 8).

Following a tip off a Herald reporter was dispatched to the area, and saw a black Volvo SUV with three IC5 (Korean, Japanese or Chinese) looking males inside the vehicle. The vehicle had diplomatic number plates identifying that it belonged to the Chinese government.

However, a DVLA check suggested that the plates were registered to a BMW and not the Volvo they were displayed upon.

South Hook LNG security was notified as a precaution.

A police spokesman said: “Members of the public are advised to contact the police to report any suspicious activity or incidents.”

Both the UK and US governments are currently on alert following incidents of spying relating to key infrastructure, computer systems and state secrets by the Chinese authorities.

[The image used in this report is a computer generated artist’s impression.]

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Milford Haven Street Food Festival Returns To Waterfront This August

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MILFORD Haven Street Food Festival will be setting up camp at Milford Waterfront for the third year running to continue their Summer of street food tour, and with a brand new sponsor joining for the ride! Jubel Beer will be on hand fully loaded with refreshing fruity beers to serve all weekend long.

Street Food Warehouse and their team of feeders are heading back into town this bank holiday weekend, 28th – 30th August.

Cooking up a storm between noon – 10pm, the festival is split into three mouth-watering portions and is the only way to get you in the mood for summer and of course, fill you up to the brim on all of your favourite foodie delights.

You’ll need to grab your tickets beforehand, just make sure you come with an empty belly ready to taste new flavours – the world will really be your oyster. From smokin’ souvlaki to naughty nachos, mouthwatering Malaysian to chocolatey treats. Carnivores, veggies and vegans alike will be able to get their hungry hands on a range of Insta-worthy grub from all over the world!

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that you’ll need something to tingle your taste buds and wash it all down with! Luckily, The Pop Up Bar Hire Company has got the whole weekend covered, offering all of your favourite beverages ranging from zesty Mojitos to ice-cold pints of Jubel Beer.

Two Lads Kitchen, Spicer’s Meat Wagon, Makasih and Chock Shop are just some of the street food vendors that will be attending the weekend, with many more both local and national vendors to be announced.

Come rain or shine, the event is completely free and family-friendly where you can get your hands on the most vibrant and high quality street food Milford Haven has to offer.

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Tenby: Police investigate overnight burglaries and theft

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POLICE are investigating two burglaries and a theft which occurred sometime overnight 9th/10th August in Tenby.

At approximately 2am this morning the RNLI lifeboat station, on Castle Hill, was broken into and money taken from the charity donation box.

Sometime overnight the padlock on the charity box for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society on Castle Square was broken and money taken from within.

Also overnight a window was forced open at the Denis Café, Castle Beach, and the till was missing. The till was later found with the money removed.

PC Garland said: “The three incidents are currently being linked. Having to close to deal with the clean-up of this type of incident is difficult for any business but especially so at this time. The two charities rely on donations to keep going and being a crew member of the Tenby Lifeboat I know what important work they due for the local community and for visitors who get into difficulty in the sea. I would appeal to anyone with any information to come forward and contact police.”

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