Grahame Morris MP

Member of Parliament for Easington

MP demands tougher action against dog fighting

January 25, 2017 Press Releases 0

Dog fighting was outlawed almost 200 years ago. Yet, shockingly, it is still happening today.

The BBC, working with the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA, have revealed that nearly 5,000 calls about organised dog fighting in England and Wales have been made to the RSPCA since 2006. 91 of these calls came from County Durham alone. 

Tougher sentencing and proper recording of these crimes are vital if we are to tackle dog fighting. It is one of the most horrific forms of animal cruelty, not only for the violence the dogs endure during the fight but also because of the trauma they suffer throughout their lives.

It’s cruel, unfair, and completely barbaric that people consider it acceptable to torture and harm these innocent animals.

As an owner of two dogs myself, this is particularly close to my heart. To abuse any animal is a terrible betrayal of our most faithful and much loved companions. Dogs forced into fighting suffer terrible injuries, both from the fights and at the hands of their vicious owners. Pets are stolen and used as bait in ordeals too horrible to describe. Those involved in this ‘sport’ are often involved in serious and even organised crime, and must be stopped.

In the United States dog fighting is recognised as a Grade A felony by the FBI. France applies a sentence of up to two years, and Germany and the Czech Republic apply a sentence of up to three years. Surely, the same strict sentencing laws should apply here too?

That’s why I’m supporting two important Private Members Bills that are coming up on the 24th February; Kevin Foster’s calling for tougher sentencing for dog fighting offences; and Anna Turley’s on sentencing for animal cruelty. Both aim to reflect the severity of the cruelty inflicted and the high level of public concern about animal welfare.