Man banned from keeping animals over chicken attack

A Suffolk man has been banned from keeping animals after he caused his ferrets to attack and kill a chicken.

Harry Locker, 24, of Nethergate Street in Hopton, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Ipswich Magistrates' Court.

He received a five-year ban and was given an 18-month community order to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

RSPCA inspector Caroline Richardson said: "Deliberate cruelty of this kind is not ever acceptable."

The incident was reported to the RSPCA by a member of the public, who said a white-coloured chicken had been put into a cage with the ferrets.

The defendant was arrested and police found three videos on his phone that captured the attack.

"The footage is very difficult to watch," continued Ms Richardson.

"Animals are sentient creatures who feel emotions and this poor bird was made to suffer for almost three minutes while it was attacked."

The ferrets were signed over to the RSPCA, but an exemption to the ban has allowed Locker to keep his dog.

Sgt Brian Calver, of Suffolk Police, said there had been no evidence of mistreatment or neglect to the canine.

As part of his sentence, Locker must also carry out 15 days of rehabilitation activity and pay £1,964 in costs, including a victim surcharge.

Sgt Calver urged any person who suspected breaches of animal welfare to report them.

"Animals can't speak for themselves and as such, they need us to be their voice," he said.