The important difference between dog fighting and dogs fighting


Campaigners are calling for tougher punishments for dog fighting and the details of people banned from keeping the animals to be kept on a national register.

The League Against Cruel Sports says its investigations revealed that dogs are being trained to fight daily, with banned breeds being sold in order to supply the high demand for "status and fighting dogs".

It is further calling for an urgent review of the Dangerous Dogs Act, arguing that its breed specific legislation is flawed.

(Ali Hamed Haghdoust/AP/PA)

The charity will launch its report, Project Bloodline, in Parliament on Tuesday as part of its campaign to end dog fighting in the UK.

Dog fighting is organised with some owners training the animals to fight says the charity, whereas dogs fighting is an accidental coming together of dogs.

Eduardo Goncalves, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "If anyone thinks dog fighting is a thing of the past, then sadly they are wrong. Last year we commissioned a groundbreaking academic report which said that a dog fight was taking place every day in the UK.

"This year we've taken to the streets to find out exactly what was happening, and the results are frightening.

"Dogs are being bred and sold specifically for fighting, pet animals are being used to provide a steady supply of torture victims for cruel training exercises where they are tethered down or used as dangling 'bait' for dogs being trained to fight for 'fun' - the cruelty behind this underground world is endless and it's happening right under our noses.

"We want appropriate penalties to be introduced, and for appropriate action to be taken against perpetrators. Dog fighting is barbaric and we cannot allow it to be part of a modern Britain."

Project Bloodline was a six-month investigation designed to understand why, when and where dog fighting occurs.

The league says that working with 60 partners it uncovered evidence which suggested brutal training methods were injuring animals before fights even took place, and that a feral cat colony was being kept as "bait".

An organised dogfight
(Allauddin Khan/AP/PA)

The charity is calling for the implementation of a national dog fighting action plan, and recommends the formation of a national task force - led by a senior Government figure - to ensure dog fighting is tackled across the country.

It is asking for legislation to be clarified and strengthened, calling for a minimum three-year custodial sentence for convicted dog fighters.