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Man admits to training ‘pit bulls’ to fight


A MAN has admitted training dogs to fight in the Black Country after being prosecuted using new legislation brought in last year under the Animal Welfare Act.

Clayton Beard, from Walsall, Staffs, admitted four charges relating to dog fighting including a new charge of having items for use in training animals to fight. The prosecution follows the discovery of three badly wounded Pit Bull Terriers, a treadmill and veterinary kit at a house in Walsall.

The RSPCA said it is the first time the legislation has been used. Beard appeared before magistrates and admitted possessing and causing unnecessary harm to Pit Bull Terriers.

The RSPCA’s Prosecution counsel reported how officers attended Beard’s home and found one of the dogs in a cage in a dining room. It had more than 70 wounds to its body and head. They also found a makeshift veterinary kit, containing superglue used to stick the wounds together.

The RSPCA said dog fighting has been on the increase in the West Midlands in the past few years with dogs being smuggled into the UK from the continent and Ireland and then being bred. RSPCA inspector Ian Briggs told local BBC News: ‘The Animal Welfare Act came into force at the start of April last year and that brings in a new offence of possessing for use an item adapted for the training of an animal to fight. So the treadmill and all that fall squarely under that legislation so we are extremely pleased we have got this first prosecution.’