Copyright RSPCA

Criminal Dwyryd Hunt master jailed – again.

Criminal Dwyryd Hunt master jailed – again.

Snowdonia farmer David Thomas admitted breaching a disqualification order, causing unnecessary suffering to a hound by kicking it, and failing to look after twenty-nine dogs and two ferrets.


On the 10th of October sheep farmer David William Lloyd Thomas, 56, of Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog, appeared at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court where he admitted a number of animal welfare offences and breaching an eight year ban on keeping dogs imposed after being convicted of badger baiting in 2018.

Twenty-nine dogs were found in what were described as ‘disgusting conditions’ when the RSPCA and North Wales Police raided Cwm Bowydd Farm following a covert investigation carried out by the League Against Cruel Sports.

In written witness statements provided to the court, RSPCA inspectors noted the conditions the animals were being kept in, with one stating that some of the animals’ housing was “filthy and inappropriate”.


A black female patterdale type terrier was being kept in a very small cage which was small, rusty, covered in straw and had a plastic bag. Image RSPCA
A black female patterdale type terrier was being kept in a very small cage which was small, rusty, and covered in straw. Image RSPCA


Reinforcing the abuse and cruelty that Thomas inflicted on these animals, a press release from the RSPCA provided to Protect the Wild noted that a black male patterdale terrier “was found with an injury to his jaw and his face was scarred. He had a wet kennel full of dirt and excrement and a water bowl which had discoloured orange water in it. Other dogs were found in kennels which were wet and dirty. A female brown patterdale had an old degloving injury on her jaw, a scar over her eye and very overgrown claws.” ‘Degloving’ is a term used to describe a traumatic injury that results in the top layers of skin and tissue being torn away from the underlying muscle, connective tissue or bone, and is often found in dogs used in badger baiting or dog figting.

Thomas pleaded guilty to six offences: not giving 29 dogs a suitable environment under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at their address in Blaenau Ffestiniog on November 17, 2021, not giving clean drinking water to two ferrets there on that date, keeping dogs on August 27, August 29 and November 17, 2021 at the same address despite an eight-year disqualification order imposed in February, 2018, and causing unnecessary suffering to a hound by roughly handling and kicking it near his farm.

His son Carwyn Lloyd Fazakerley also admitted not giving 29 dogs a suitable environment at the farm on November 17, 2021.

Yesterday Thomas was sentenced. He was jailed for 24 weeks and banned from keeping dogs or ferrets for ten years. Fazakerley was ordered to do 160 hours unpaid work, pay £600 costs and was banned from keeping dogs for ten years.

All the animals seized in the raid will be rehomed by the RSPCA.

District judge Gwyn Jones told the hearing that Thomas had three times breached a disqualification made in 2018 after a badger-baiting case, and told the defendant: “I am quite satisfied it’s a wilful, deliberate and persistent breach of the order. No doubt you would have hoped with the passage of time people will no longer be concerned with regard to the way in which you deal with animals.”

Thomas might well hope people have short memories, but they don’t. He and his son will forever be linked with cruelty cases and with badger-baiting.


Congratulations to all those involved in getting this man back behind bars. Questions are being asked just how many times an individual needs to be convicted of animal cruelty offences before a lifetime ban is handed down, of course, but at least no one will ever trust this man with their dogs again.

Or will they?

Thomas is registered with the Masters of Foxhounds Association as Master of the Gwynned-based Dwyryd Hunt (a registration which apparently wasn’t removed after his conviction for badger baiting). The dogs which were found being ‘looked after’ by Thomas appear to include foxhounds belonging to the Dwyryd Hunt. Indeed, Cwm Bowydd Farm has been listed as the kennels of the Hunt for several years.

There is no chance whatsoever that the Dwyryd Hunt were unaware of Thomas’s prior conviction. It was widely publicised at the time and must have led to numerous discussions amongst local communities.  The Hunt clearly took a decision to ‘ignore’ a little problem like a conviction for badger-baiting and to continue working with Thomas anyway.


Convicted hunt master tweet by Chris packham


Hunts have repeatedly tried to whitewash their reputations after numerous body blows including the ‘smokescreen webinars‘, being banned from land owned by the National Trust, undercover investigations supported by Protect the Wild that for example showed the Beaufort Hunt shooting unwanted hounds, and hours of online video showing illegal fox hunting. Earlier this year the team behind the Wild Mammal Persecution UK blog posted that they “were able to confirm yesterday evening that at least two police forces in England and Wales are now treating hunts operating in their areas as Organised Crime Groups (OCGs).”

Hunting is looking increasingly friendless with fewer and fewer places to turn, which perhaps is what leads to criminals having to depend on each other. Depending on a bone-headed, cruel individual like Thomas really does seem to be scraping the very bottom of the barrel though – even for a fox hunt.

(Header image RSPCA, used with permission)