Hunt on for ‘barbaric’ dog-fighting gangs
SCOTLAND’S leading animal welfare charity has launched a nationwide hunt to track down the “barbaric” gangs behind dog fighting and badger baiting rings across the country.
• Scottish SPCA says badger baiting rife in Central belt
• Animals often forced to fight to the death
The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information in a bid to identify the secretive gangs who force dogs to fight to the death in the illegal rings, in which £20,000 can be waged on fights lasting up to an hour.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said the crimes involving the illegal gangs were “barbaric and cruel beyond belief”.
He said: “Many people will be shocked that these sickening activities are still going on in Scotland.
“But animals are still being forced to fight, often to the death, and the pain and suffering they endure is horrendous.
“Our Special Investigations Unit gathers intelligence on all forms of animal fighting and over the past 18 months our investigations have led to criminal convictions and prison sentences.”
In September last year two brothers, David and Colin Reid, from Banffshire, became the first Scots to be jailed under new laws to tackle illegal dog fighting after an undercover operation by the SSPCA.
David Reid, from Banff, was jailed for six months and his brother, who is from Macduff, was jailed for four months at Banff Sheriff Court after they admitted encouraging pit bull terrier-type dogs to attack each other.
Chief Superintendent Flynn explained: “Dog fighters and badger baiters are extremely secretive about their activities and don’t tend to take their dogs out in public as people would be alarmed by their injuries and scars.
“Rather than take their dogs to a vet, they are often treated at home, which can prolong their agony and lead to infections, which are sometimes fatal.”
He added: “While these crimes are taking place throughout the country, we have received intelligence that dog fighting rings are operating in Grampian, Glasgow and in and around the Edinburgh area.
“Badger baiting is rife throughout the central belt including the Lothians, Borders, Strathclyde, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South