‘This re­ally does hap­pen all over the coun­try’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

AN AC­TION group set up to com­bat cru­elty to an­i­mals in sports says that dog fight­ing is a prob­lem across the coun­try.

The League Against Cruel Sports says that while dogs and other an­i­mals be­ing stolen and used as bait to train fight­ing dogs is also a known prob­lem, it can be dif­fi­cult to prove that this is why they have been taken.

Emma Sob­hee, a spokesper­son for the league, says: “Dog fight­ing is a common prob­lem, and it hap­pens up and down the coun­try, but it is a very un­der­ground thing, and it it’s very hard to keep track of and to mon­i­tor.

“It’s a very se­cre­tive thing, but it re­ally does hap­pen all over the coun­try, which is a sur­prise to most peo­ple.”

She added: “The is­sue of ‘bait dogs’ is also some­thing that we are fa­mil­iar with, and it does hap­pen, but again it’s hard to prove ex­actly when this has hap­pened.

“It’s un­der­stand­able though that peo­ple will come to this con­clu­sion if their pet goes miss­ing and they have heard about dog fights hap­pen­ing where they live.

“It is just some­thing that is hard to say has hap­pened for def­i­nite when a dog goes miss­ing, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t hap­pen.”

The League Against Cruel Sports aims to pre­vent cru­elty to an­i­mals used for sport, and works across the UK to help an­i­mals that have been used in this way.

Ms Sob­hee said that dog own­ers can re­duce the risks of their pets be­ing taken by be­ing vig­i­lant.

She said: “If your dog is out in the gar­den, keep an eye on it, and make sure that it can’t get out.

“Also, when walk­ing it, it’s of­ten a good idea to keep it on a long lead.

“With cats it’s a bit more dif­fi­cult as they come and go more than dogs, but again, it is just good to be vig­i­lant.”

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