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‘Irish’ pit bull trade gets round the law

PIT BULL Terrier breeders are evading the laws surrounding the trade in American Pit Bull Terriers in Britain by calling the ‘Irish’ Pit Bulls or Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

The lengthy report in the Sunday Telegraph last weekend drew attention to the way in which certain code words are also used to convey ‘sporting’ - fighting - prowess.

The RSPCA and other animal charities are concerned that the current practice will fuel the breed fighting levels to that of the 1980s. This caused much concern and eventually led to much criticised 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act after dog attacks and fatalities.

Recent dog attacks have served as reminder to police and other agencies who are monitoring the rise of the ‘new’ breed and the way in which it being promoted by gangs devoted to organised dog fighting.

Phil Buckley, a spokesman for the Kennel Club, said: “Families may think they are buying a pure-bred Stafford. We have had a lot of calls from those who have bought these dogs at six weeks old, and at three months they are phoning us up saying, ‘I didn’t know what I was buying but the breeder said it would be a slightly large Staffordshire bull terrier’. Instead they get a bulky animal that doesn’t resemble a Stafford in temperament or type.”