200 rats kept in Standburn hutch

200 rats were kept in a hutch
200 rats were kept in a hutch

Villagers were plagued by rats which broke free from overcrowded cages to escape one man’s horrific neglect.

Andrew Hughes (24) kept almost 200 rodents in the cruelly cramped conditions of a wooden rabbit hutch that only had enough space for 30 of the creatures. Most of them were pregnant females.

Scottish SPCA officers, called in to deal with the infestation in Standburn, uncovered Hughes’ inhumane treatment of the rats.

He was charged with neglect.

An Scottish SPCA officer said: “This was a horrific case of animal neglect.

“The hutch was swarming with rats and they were piled up on top of each other due to the lack of space.

“It was clear the conditions were woefully inadequate and completely inhumane.”

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Hughes was banned from keeping animals of any kind for three years.