Published Monday, 13 August 2012
The accused wanted electronic tags removed, but police objected. (© Getty)
A prosecution lawyer said the attack on the badger came after it had been forced from its set and it was dazzled by a lamp, before the dogs killed it inside just four minutes.
The lawyer made his claims during a hearing involving two east Belfast brothers who have been charged following a police investigation into animal cruelty and illegal dog fighting.
Eighteen-year-old Gary Kirkwood and his brother Wayne, aged 19, are both from Island Street in the city.
They were in court on Monday to seek variations to conditions of their bail which was granted by a District Judge earlier this month.
They are among six members of their family who have been charged in relation to the cruelty allegations which surfaced after police viewed video footage on a phone of alleged animal fights.
Two other men have been accused of a wide range of offences.
On Monday, the prosecution lawyer said dogs had been specifically bred for badger baiting and he said domestic cats had been stolen to 'blood' the pitbulls and lurcher type dogs.
The lawyer said the video footage showed that men encouraged the dogs as they attacked badgers and cats which were dragged out of cages.
He said that a number of puppies and illegal adult dogs were found in raids on properties during the investigation by police and the USPCA.
Police said they had encountered "an element of hostility" as they carried out follow-up inquiries into the animal cruelty.
The Kirkwood brothers wanted electronic tags removed but police objected, saying they believed they could re-offend.
The prosecution lawyer said the digging up of badger sets usually took place at night.
A lawyer for the brothers said they were content to comply with all the other conditions of their bail, but their application was rejected and they must continue to wear their tags.