Dog Fighting (UK)

Hello and hi. Please know that I absolutely detest dog fighting and anyone associated with this cruel and inhumane ‘sport.’ Sorry. Not sorry. Here in the UK, campaigners are calling for action against owners who are involved with this. In fact, campaigners are seeking tougher penalties for dog fighting, as there are serious concerns that young people in Britain (and others not just young people) are using dogs for both protection as well as to uphold their stats-confirming their street credibility.

The League Against Cruel Sports has recently reported that undercover investigators were offered dogs that could be trained to fight. The LACS is also calling for a register of banned owners and a review of The Dangerous Dogs Act. Ministers have said that the Act can be used against owners of any out of control dog. However, the LACS argues that the legislation targets particular types of dog-rather than the behaviour of their owners. That is very true. So yeah, a review is necessary. Further, the LACS wants to see the law reformed along with a specific offence of dog fighting introduced with a MINIMUM 3 year custodial sentence.

A recent report by the League indicated that dog fighting had moved from organised confrontations in purpose-built pits to “rolls”, in which dogs on chains fight on behalf of their owners. Often young men are keen to uphold their reputation on the street-and “rolls” are simply one way to do it. Good grief. Further, the report focused on Bedfordshire, which was a representative of the problem in towns and cities in Britain.  According to the League, local idiots…I mean people, said dogs had been trained to fight in one park in Luton by hanging them from trees with their jaws to improve strength. Hmm…someone should do that to these owners, see how they like it then.

‘Bait’ Dogs

Undercover investigators met a dog breeder wearing a face mask. Yes-hide your face in shame, Sir. Anyway, the dog breeder offered the undercover investigator Pit Bull puppies-a banned breed here in the UK. He was also offered young pups of the Bully Kutta breed-a fighting dog from Pakistan (not a banned breed). He said that for £1,000 he was prepared to supply dogs suitable for “protection.” The Bully Kutta, he said, could be used for fighting.

Dogs are trained to fight on treadmills and in harnesses with “bait” dogs used as opponents according to the League. The League also commented on a Staffordshire terrier called “Cupcake” who had showed signs of having been used in training as “Cupcake’s” teeth had been filed back to prevent it damaging its opponent, along with scars around her neck and an injured eye. Poor thing. “Kay” is currently looking after “Cupcake” along with other dogs who have been abandoned and commented, “To victimise and torture a vulnerable creature to try to create a status or an image they want to be proud of is pretty despicable.” Followed by, “Man up – if you have a lust for fighting go out and fight yourself.” Yes, yes and yes. Oh and “Kay” is using a pseudonym because she is concerned the dog’s former owner will track it down. Pictured below is “Cupcake.” She is cute.

Staffordshire terrier Cupcake and her filed back teeth (right)

Animal fighting (including dog fighting) is currently banned in the UK under the Animal Welfare Act, with a maximum sentence of 51 weeks in prison. Additionally, people can also be fined or banned from owning pets under the Act.

Banned Breeds

A recent analysis by criminologists at Middlesex University suggested that there had been fewer than 40 successful convictions linked to dog fighting under the current laws between 2008-2014.

In addition, those using banned breeds to fight can be prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act-which came into force in 1991 and bans 4 different breeds in England and Wales to include: The Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

Owners of banned breeds/dogs which injure or kill people will face tougher punishments in England and Wales from July, under new sentencing guidelines. Scotland and Northern Ireland have a system of dog control notices. I suspect that has something to do with devolution. Devolution? In brief the UK is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Devolution essentially means the transfer of powers from the UK Parliament in London to assemblies in Cardiff and Belfast, and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. A process designed to decentralise government and gives more powers to the other nations in the UK. They get to make their own laws. Yeah.

In closing, the Department of Food and Rural Affairs said  “Any dog can become dangerous if it is kept by irresponsible owners in the wrong environment which is why the [Dangerous Dogs] Act covers any type of dog that is dangerously out of control.”

So there you have it. Not a cheerful topic for a blog post, but an important one. That is all.



One comment

  1. quiall · May 24, 2016

    Hard to read but good to know.

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