Dog fighting rings are still happening in Sheffield today with animals being subject to heavy exercise and muscle building injections, the RSPCA have confirmed.
Despite being banned over 180 years ago; the cruel sport is still in practice across South Yorkshire and the UK.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Mike Butcher said: “We need new deterrents to tackle the brutal spectacle of fighting two dogs in a pit, which continues to be an increasing problem”.
Mr Butcher, who is one of the leading experts in dog fighting in the UK, said: “Dog fighting is a serious offence and sentencing needs to be increased and hope they will announce measures to rectify this.”
Currently the maximum sentence for dog fighting is only six months in England and Wales, but in Northern Island there is a maximum of five years.
Mr Butcher added: “I’ve seen footage of dogs gasping for life, covered in blood, as people encourage another dog to inflict yet more suffering upon them. Many dogs are trained on treadmills and are fed muscle-building protein powders.
“Even after more than three decades investigating organised animal crime, I still find it shocking to actually think someone could gain so much pleasure from something so cruel.”
South Yorkshire Police’s Dogs Unit was introduced six months ago in a bid to ban dangerous dogs from the streets, and in that time 53 dogs have been seized by police.
The League Against Cruel Sports, a campaign group to stop dog fighting, say that one dog fight occurs in the UK every day.
Image courtesy of Ildar Sagdejev