Yesterday 5/2/2018 at a packed Llandudno Magistrates court, the founder, huntsman and huntmaster of the Dwyryd hunt, David Thomas 51 of Cwm Bowydd farm Blaenau Ffestiniog was imprisoned for 22 week, banned from keeping dogs for 8 years and ordered to pay cost of £5,000 for offences including badger baiting, causing a badger to suffer, keeping premises for an animal fight, and causing suffering to caged foxes kept at the premises. confined foxes. The hunts terrier man Jordan Houlston 24 of Alexander Road Llandudno was also jailed for 20 weeks, and banned from keeping dogs for 8 years, and ordered to pay £6oo in costs. The police had also seized Houlstons Nissan Navara, but calls for the vehicle to be crushed were turned away by the judge. A third man Marc Morris 26 of Blaenau Ffestiniog who pleaded guilty recieved a suspended 10 week sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £615 and was also banned from keeping dogs for 4 years. A 17-year-old who had pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight was ordered to pay costs £220 and banned from keeping dogs for 4 years. The magistrates judge Gwyn Jones took a dim view on the fact the adults had involved a minor in these barbaric crimes. The accused had also called upto Stephen Lomax as an expert witness to claim the artificial setts located on the premises were in fact natural badger setts. The judge also took a dim view at Lomax’s claims and trying to lead the court.
David Thomas had flown under our radar a bit, being hidden up in the scenic hills of Blaenau Ffestiniog. He was first brought to our attentions when we came across an article on the North West Hunt Saboteurs website about badger baiters. This case is not the first time the huntmaster has been accused of such crimes. In 2001 in court David Thomas said “I’ve got no interest in digging for badgers. “Why should I go all the way to Llanfrothen when I’ve got badgers on my own farm?” http://www.nwhsa.org.uk/badgerbaiters/badgerbaiterst.htm
Jordan Houlston has been known to us for some time, we even published his photo back in 2016. We were told Houlston has a violent streak and should be approached with caution. It was also claimed Houlston is often used as a lacky to carry out the dirty work for huntsmen. Not only were dogs taken from Cwm Bowydd farm in Blaenau Ffestiniog but were also taken from Jordan Houlstons home address in Llandudno along with video evidence that was used against him in the trial.
Taking into consideration that David Thomas who single handedly runs the Dwyryd hunt now has an 8 year ban of keeping dogs, so does his terrier man, we are calling for this hunt to be disbanded! This is a registered pack though it would appear that the Masters of foxhounds may have deleted this from their website. There is no other option, this hunt cannot operate anymore. This petition we’ve come across does not belong to us but it also calls for an end to the Dwyryd hunt. https://www.change.org/p/dwyryd-hunt-in-north-wales-justice-for-the-cruel-badger-bating-in-north-wales?recruiter=99328315&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=autopublish&utm_content=ex56%3Av3
Also to be taken into consideration is that firearms were seized from David Thomas and some appear to be illegal. Thomas will be facing trial again in June for the firearms and could be looking at serving a log custodial sentence.
Usually when a hunt disbands the hounds will be re-homed with another hunt. We’d like to see the Dwydryd hounds retired and re-homed away from wildlife criminals and witha loving home. Of courses the hunting brigade will tell you these animals cannot be re-homed but that is not the case. We know of foxhounds who have been retired and now live with families.
The Daily post called the footage “Sickening” https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/sickening-rspca-surveillance-footage-exposes-14249590
The Guardian outed David Thomas as the huntsman of the Dwydryd hunt https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/05/huntsman-jailed-for-badger-baiting-in-wales
and the Ecologist also published a detailed report calling it a “landmark case” https://theecologist.org/2018/feb/05/badger-baiting-master-dwyryd-hunt-sent-prison-landmark-case-reports-ecomontague