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Four held in dog fighting raids

FOUR PEOPLE have been arrested and four pit bull-type dogs seized following a series of co-ordinated raids across Teesside and Birmingham late last week.

Several addresses were raided by the RSPCA and police officers from Cleveland and West Midlands investigating organised dog fighting.

Two arrests were made at Bordesley Green in Birmingham, with one each in Stockton and Middlesbrough. The dogs - some scarred - are in RSPCA care awaiting veterinary checks.

As well as the arrests, officers discovered treadmills and dog fighting training records.

Chief Inspector Mike Butcher of the RSPCA special operations unit, added: ‘People may think that dog fighting has gone away, but that's simply not true. ‘There are still people who seem to gain pleasure from seeing two dogs ripping each other to pieces, so whilst those people continue to pursue them.’

The Northern Echo newspaper has since revealed one of those arrested in the Cleaveland raids is Gary Adamson, from Yarm, near Stockton, who featured in an undercover BBC Panorama documentary.

A former North-East soldier infiltrated the Farmer's Boys gang in Northern Ireland - one of Europe's largest dog fighting gangs. Mr Adamson was filmed cheering as two Pit Bull dogs fought.
When later confronted at home, Mr Adamson, who runs a fencing business in Yarm, denied being involved in organising the fights, saying that he had been set up.

PC Dave Sanders, wildlife crime officer at Stockton police, said: ‘The intended overall effect of this operation is to send a clear message to individuals who may be involved or contemplating involvement in offences of this nature, that this sickening behaviour will not be tolerated within the Cleveland area.’