Ballycrune farm cleared of cruelty to stag
A County Down farm has been cleared of animal cruelty involving a stag.
The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recorded the stag being brought from Ballycrune farm to a location near Katesbridge last year.
It was held in a trailer and shed for several days in March 2013, before being released into the path of a hunt.
A judge said he had "deep suspicions" about why the stag had been brought to the hunt, but was not satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, the animal suffered.
He said that a deer released in these circumstances was a protected animal in the legal sense and paid tribute to the USPCA and the media for highlighting the issue.