Stolen Cats And Dogs Used As Dog Fighting Bait
Pet dogs and cats are being stolen to provide ‘bait’ for animals training for illegal dogfights.
Shocking evidence of the practice was revealed by the League Against Cruel Sports as it seeks to bring those responsible for the sick contests to justice.
Birmingham has been shamed as a dog-fighting hotspot – and now £5,000 rewards are on offer for those with information about the culprits.
Some organised dog fights are known to last up to five hours.
The charity said those involved often took the animal out of town for medical attention or used DIY kits sold online to avoid alerting the authorities.
The RSPCA revealed last year that organised fighting had risen in the UK by a third in five years.
There were 594 tip-offs in 2014, against 449 in 2010.
Forty-eight calls came from the West Midlands, compared to 36 in Greater London and 35 in Greater Manchester.
League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Gonçalves said: “Dog fighting is repugnant.
“It betrays the trust of the human: dog relationship and must be stopped.
“Despite it being banned almost 200 years ago, a report commissioned by the League last year found there could be one dog fight taking place every day in the UK.
“Dog fighting is a clandestine activity, which in the past more commonly took place in disused rural buildings and was managed at a professional level.
“Now we’re seeing a move to urban areas where dog fighting is becoming a way of establishing dominance, often related to gang activity.
“Individuals get involved in dog fighting for a number of different reasons, to boost their street cred, for entertainment or for profit.
“The current penalties if caught fail to act as a real deterrent, something we seek to change.
“We’re offering up to £5,000 for information about dog fighting in the Birmingham area which directly leads to a conviction, a chance for members of the local community to play their part in stamping out such a savage activity.”
As part of the operation the charity will also be working alongside West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson.
He said: “I have made tackling animal cruelty a feature of my upcoming Police and Crime Plan.
“I look forward to working with the police and the League Against Cruel Sports to raise awareness of and tackle this important issue. Dog fighting is truly barbaric and has no place in a civilised, decent society.”
Anyone with information about those involved in dog fights should call the league’s Animal Crimewatch on 01483 361 108.
Published By http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/