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Harry Locker of Hopton, near Diss, banned from keeping animals, except for dogs, after death of chicken which he placed in cage containing ferrets





A 24-year-old Suffolk man has been banned from keeping animals, except for dogs, after the death of a chicken which he placed in a cage containing ferrets.

Harry Locker, of Nethergate Street in Hopton, near Diss, appeared before Suffolk Magistrates' Court for sentencing on January 22.

He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, by causing a ferret to attack a white coloured chicken.

Harry Locker has been banned from keeping animals, except for dogs, after the death of a chicken which he placed in a cage containing ferrets.
Harry Locker has been banned from keeping animals, except for dogs, after the death of a chicken which he placed in a cage containing ferrets.

Locker was banned from keeping all animals, except for dogs, for five years and given an 18 month community order to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He was also ordered to pay £1,964 in costs including victim surcharge.

The RSPCA was alerted to the incident by a member of the public that the bird had been deliberately put in the cage with the ferrets.

The defendant was arrested and three videos were found on his phone showing his ferrets attacking and killing the chicken.

A vet who examined the videos said the suffering was caused directly by the person who placed the bird in with the ferrets and that based on the videos it appeared the bird took three minutes to die - during which time it was repeatedly attacked and bitten.

Speaking after the case RSPCA Inspector Caroline Richardson said: “The footage is very difficult to watch. Animals are sentient creatures who feel emotions and this poor bird was made to suffer for almost three minutes while it was attacked.

“I am pleased the defendant has been held to account for his actions. I hope this case sends out a clear message that deliberate cruelty of this kind is not ever acceptable.”

The ferrets were signed over to the RSPCA.

Sgt Brian Calver said: “Any kind of cruelty to animals is unacceptable and taken seriously by Suffolk Police.

“There is often a correlation between animal cruelty and other criminality, so it’s right and proper that these offences are dealt with robustly.

“Animals can’t speak for themselves and as such, they need us to be their voice.

“We work closely with the RSPCA to tackle such criminality and will continue to support the great work that RSPCA Inspectors do to prevent cruelty to animals and promote animal welfare.

“It’s hoped that such a result sends a strong message to those that think such unacceptable behaviour is okay.”

In mitigation the defendant said that he had mental health issues and that this was a foolish thing to have done.