A controversial Scots vet practice has been firebombed.
Emergency crews raced to Scott Bennett’s Platinum Vets and K9 Fertility in Strathaven, Lanarkshire after the practice was targeted at around 8pm on Thursday night.
Police are investigating reports that “an item on fire” was thrown towards the premises.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – as well as features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and allows you to customise your page to the sections that matter most to you.
Witnesses have told how young men on bikes targeted the facility with bricks and firebombs.
Two youths were reportedly seen cycling up to the premises in the rain before taking the bricks out of bags.
One witness told us : “Two young guys cycled right up to the place and panned the windows with bricks. It looks like they aimed to get in and out quickly before disappearing.
“Whatever happened, it didn’t look like they managed to fully set the place on fire.”
Lanarkshire Live is also aware of reports of shots being fired at the property last night.
A-concerned resident told us: “The windows look like they’ve been shot by bullets and there are scorch marks on the door. It looks like it’s been petrol bombed.
“It’s really scary, there’s something dodgy going on there.”
Pictures taken from the scene show fire crews and police in attendance following the incident, with officers cordoning off the area outside the vets while firefighters battled the flames.
Other images taken this morning, Friday December 3, show the windows being repaired by workmen.
Thankfully no one was injured as a result of the attack.
The premises is owned by Bennett, 41, who was previously charged with involvement in “serious and organised crime” after multi-agency searches of his home and business premises on October 28.
He and wife Lynn, 38, were arrested after their home and business, Platinum Vets and K9 Fertility centre, in Strathaven, Lanarkshire was searched.
Both were charged with drug offences after the swoop by Police Scotland, accompanied by the Scottish SPCA, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
Bennet has been remanded in custody.
Enquiries are still ongoing in relation to animal welfare issues.
Then, on November 17, the vet practice was targeted by vandals who smashed windows at the premises.
Bennett has been a hugely controversial figure since moving to Strathaven where he built kennels without planning permission before being granted a retrospective permit.
He then opened two pet care shops, including the premises on the town’s Common Green – which specialises in fertility treatment for breeds like French bulldogs, American bullies and Chihuahuas.
It offers artificial insemination, progesterone testing, DNA sampling and sperm shipping, as well as microchipping of pups.
Bennett was shot in the face in December 2019. It was reported the bullet remained lodged in his neck after being targeted outside a vet practice in Cambuslang, near Glasgow.
Just a month before, his home at Brae Farm was raided by police, Trading Standards officers and the SSPCA. Cops seized phones, documents and computers, but he was not charged.
A Police Scotland spokesman told Lanarkshire Live : “Officers are investigating after what is believed to be an item on fire was thrown towards a premises on Common Green, Strathaven, at around 8.15pm on Thursday, December 2.
“Nobody was injured and a small fire was put out at the scene.”
Meanwhile an SFRS spokeswoman said: “We were responding to reports of a fire at Common Ground, Strathaven last night after receiving the call at 8.11pm.
“We mobilised two appliances to tackle the fire.
“They left the incident at 9.09pm.
“There were no casualties reported.”
Anyone with any information should contact police on 101. Information can be left anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
**Don’t miss the latest headlines from around Lanarkshire. Sign up to our newsletters here.