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Midlands is ‘dog fighting’ hotspot

BIRMINGHAM AND the Black Country have been named as the UK's hotspots for barbaric dog fighting rings where owners stand to make thousands from a single bout.

Dog fighting is on the increase nationwide but is particularly prevalent in the West Midlands, according to RSPCA Chief Inspector Tim Scott.

Mr Scott said there had been a great deal of dog fighting activity in the area for several years but there had been a noticeable increase in the number of incidents uncovered by the RSPCA over the past 12 months.

In April, Adio Clarke, 28 from Handsworth was jailed after he pleaded guilty to ownership of a dog fighting venue, causing dogs to fight, possession of 11 pit bulls and three cases of causing unnecessary suffering.

Just weeks later in May, Police smashed a dog fighting ring in Birmingham when nine addresses in Lozells and Handsworth were raided.

A 25-year-old Handsworth man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a dangerous dog and 12 more dog owners were served with police notices. And earlier this month 26-year-old Amar Ali, of Edgbaston Road, Smethwick, was given a suspended sentence for possessing illegal dogs.

‘It's a very worrying trend and it is very much on the increase in this region, which is definitely the country's hotspot for what is a barbaric practice,’ said Mr Scott.

‘Dog breeders and owners can make an awful lot of money from this - often thousands of pounds in a single bout. If someone has a champion fighting dog they can make a good living out of pitting it against challengers.’

Mr Scott made his comments after a man was arrested in a dawn raid by RSPCA and police at a house in Bloxwich, Walsall, Staffordshire.

Six suspected dangerous dogs were seized in the raid.