Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Viewpoint: Hail the dog detectives

The underground culture of breeding dogs for fighting is, unfortunately, as strong in Northern Ireland as it is elsewhere.

Recent seizures and arrests have underlined this. Even so, it is hard to understand the mindset of anyone who would want to breed so-called 'bandogs' for fighting.

The illegal cross-breed, originally designed to attack humans, is indeed a fearsome animal. A cross between a pit bull terrier (for aggression) and an English mastiff (for size), the bandog can grow to the size of an alsatian and weigh up to 10 stone.

What would happen if one ever attacked a group of children, never mind adults, doesn't bear thinking about.

The latest seizure is further confirmation of the valuable work carried out by the authorities in combating the menace of this so-called sport.

The PSNI and officials from councils across Northern Ireland have worked together effectively, but most praise should be reserved for the organisation which has been at the forefront of the battle: the USPCA.

Chief Executive Stephen Philpot and his team repeatedly endure threats of violence in their efforts to smash the secret rings of owners, breeders and fight organisers that keep the barbaric networks alive. We owe them both our gratitude and our full support.

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