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Dogfighting sees big surge in England

dogfightA new wave of dogfighting is sweeping England, resulting in a 12-fold increase in dogfights since 2004.

And most practitioners — about two of every three — are youths, the Royal SPCA says.

A BBC report quotes RSPCA officials as saying a ban on four breeds, including pit bulls, has done little to slow the spread of dogfighting, or dogs biting people, and that a change in the law is needed.

The new wave of dog fighting, known as “chain fighting” or “rolling,” involves fights held in inner city public parks, on private estates and even in apartment elevators where  ”young people, often gangs of young people … put two dogs in a lift at the top of the block of flats and will press the button and let the dogs fight until they get to the bottom,” the RPSCA’s Claire Robinson told BBC News.

RSPCA officials say authorities have limited powers to seize dogs kept by their owners for fighting. Often they are Rottweilers or mixed breeds not covered in the ban.

“We see two or three fights most days … a few weekends ago we had ten,” the RSPCA’s David Grant said. “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.”

The Dangerous Dogs Act, which came into force in 1991, bans four different breeds — the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

The charity wants a new law passed that focuses on people keeping aggressive dogs — regardless of breed — as a status symbol or weapon, with more checks on owners and stiffer penalties for people mistreating dogs or keeping them for criminal use.

“It’s a lot to do with the sort of MTV gang culture — people want to look hard, they want to look tough, with a dog that looks tough,” Robinson said.

Comments

Comment from sarahkate
Time October 5, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Hate to say it but hope that kids in the US don’t get more ideas from this blog entry. Bad enough that “trunking” goes on here which even local municipal police departments haven’t always heard of (dogfighting in car trunks).

With Michael Vick as the new “star sportsman/star spokesperson” (for pro football and for HSUS and ALSO getting freebies from Nike he will be seen as the great and shining reward-receiver for dogfighting. Sure he did “time.” Not enough!!! And he probably learned many more evil things to do and not get caught at it while in prison! Bottom line is this: people like Vick are glamorized and that is why young people are doing what he did – because guess what it’s rewarded by fame and fortune.

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