A USPCA and police operation in County Down has uncovered a dog fighting and breeding operation, as well as two suspected illegal puppy farms.
The discovery was made last Monday at a remote farmhouse about a mile from the village of Kinallen in south Down. It is the third find of its kind in the area in the past five days.
Stephen Philpott of the USPCA said: “"There's equipment in here for training dogs for fighting and there are other pieces of evidence here which we believe was causing unnecessary suffering to animals, There's a large number of these dogs involved, more than a dozen, which have now being removed by the USPCA. Mr Philpott also said that the housing the animals were being kept in were "overcrowded and inadequate", that the animals were in a state of “distress”
In the previous week, four pit-bull terriers were among more than 150 dogs rescued. The authorities believe all the finds were linked. Officials believed that some of the dogs rescued may never have seen daylight.