DOG FIGHTING: Gwynne calls for an end as new report exposes extent of ‘banned’ sport in UK

League Against Cruel Sports

Andrew Gwynne MP is supporting calls to make it easier to convict people involved in the barbaric ‘sport’ of dog fighting after a new report disclosed shocking new information. 

The report – ‘Betrayal of Trust: The Tragedy of Dog Fighting’ – reveals at least one dog fight is likely to take place every day of the year somewhere in the UK despite the cruel practice having been outlawed almost 200 years ago. 

Commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports, the report is the first comprehensive look at dog fighting in the UK, and also highlights:

  • Three distinct ‘levels’ of dog fighting: Street Rolls, Hobbyist and Professional
  • Horrific injuries patched up by ‘street’ surgeons using only superglue or staples
  • Training methods using ‘bait’ animals such as cats
  • Organised dog fights that can last up to 5 hours

The authors of the report, criminologists Dr Simon Harding and Dr Angus Nurse spoke to a large range of people including those involved in dog fighting, and examined the practices, motivations and extent of dog fighting as well as the means to tackle it.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“I did not realise that the cruelty of dog fighting, which can result in torn flesh, blood loss, disembowelment or even death, continues to go on in this country.

“We’re seeing more dog fighting in urban areas, where it is becoming a way of establishing dominance, often related to gang activity. Either way, it’s often about machismo and money, and the dogs will inevitably suffer.”

Dr Simon Harding, author of the report, and Senior Lecturer in Criminology in Middlesex University’s School of Law said:

“From our interviews with people who involve their dogs in fighting, and analysing data from a wide range of sources, we found clear evidence of dog fighting in the UK ranging from the every-day impromptu street fights or ‘rolls’, through hobbyists to professional fights where huge amounts of money changes hand.”

“It is clear that regardless of the level of dog fighting, these people are all connected by a common thread of secrecy, callousness and links to other crimes.”

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