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Dog fighter jailed for four months


A self-confessed dog fighter was jailed earlier this week for 18 weeks, after pleading guilty to four charges relating to dog fighting. It was the first dog fighting-related prosecution brought by the RSPCA under the new Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Clayton Beard, from Cannon Street, Walsall, previously admitted to possessing three pit bull terriers and to causing unnecessary suffering to one dog by failing to provide proper veterinary attention. In addition the 24-year-old also pleaded guilty to possessing equipment adapted for training animals to fight and keeping animals for use in connection with fighting.
In addition to the custodial sentence, Walsall magistrates banned Beard from keeping or being responsible for any animals for life.

The court had earlier heard how one of the dogs, found in a cage in the dining room of his property had more than 70 wounds to his face and body.

When RSPCA inspectors visited Beard in April 2007, they found wounded dogs and a makeshift veterinary kit, containing glue to stick the wounds together. A treadmill, used to improve dogs fitness and stamina was also discovered at the property. In addition a training schedule (called a ‘keep’) used for the dogs was also found.

Chief inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit, said: “This case shows that this abhorrent sport will not be tolerated in the 21st century. We are extremely pleased with the result.

“There are a hardened group of individuals in this country who continue to take delight in pitting dog against dog in a bloodthirsty battle whilst they stand by and encourage their animals to fight. Many experience terrible injuries some can be fatal.”

Anyone with information about dog fighting is urged to contact the RSPCA cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999 and ask to leave a message with CI Ian Briggs or CI Mike Butcher. Calls are treated in confidence