Saturday, 3 October 2009

'Unprecedented' rise in dog fights

A surge in dog fighting is leaving unprecedented numbers of the animals with serious injuries, the RSPCA has warned.

The charity said a new wave of what is known as chain fighting, or rolling, has seen increasing numbers of badly-injured dogs needing treatment.

The practice sees young men gather in "ad-hoc" places like parks where they hold two animals on chains and egg them on to fight. Rottweilers or Staffordshire bull terriers are often used.

Vet David Grant, director of the RSPCA's Harmsworth Animal Hospital in London, said he was seeing "unprecedented levels" of injuries.

He told the BBC: "We see two or three fights most days. At the weekend it can be quite bad, a few weekends ago we had 10.

"We frequently see ears torn off, eyes torn out. In my career as a vet - nearly 42 years - this is the worst it has ever been.

"I have never seen things as bad as this."

It is thought the rise in chain fights has resulted from police action against organised dog fighting rings.

Ministers have stressed that there are tougher penalties for dog fighting, and that the new Policing and Crime Bill will make it easier to seize dogs owned by criminal gangs.

Article from the Derbyshire Times

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