Local MP Steve McCabe joins call for tougher penalties for dog fighting

Steve McCabe MP, Birmingham, Selly Oak has joined campaigners calling for tougher penalties for dog fighting.

Steve recently met with campaignershighlighting the horrific reality of dog fighting and heard about the plight of Cupcake, a Staffordshire bull terrier. Before she was rescued, Cupcake was subjected to horrific abuse by her dog fighting owners. Used asbait to train other dogs to fight, her teeth were broken with pliers to remove her only defence. She had sustained multiple injuries and scars including a head trauma from being slammed against walls or punched, which may lead to her losing an eye. She was also overbred to provide puppies which would either be trained to fight or used as bait themselves.

Leading animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports are campaigning to highlight the horrific reality of dogfighting and push for tougher penalties for those involved. They are also calling for a national register to tackle the scourge of dog fighting across the UK.

A dog fight takes place every day somewhere in the UK. Dog fighting is not purely a matter of animal welfare. Evidence from the UK and abroad points to the activity being a ‘gateway’ crime to serious and organised offences, such as drug and gun crime. In the United States dog fighting is recognised as a Grade A felony by the FBI and the practice of tackling dog fighting to prevent other crimes is well established.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“Organised dog fights occur every day in Britain despite the practice being illegal for over 200 years. There are thousands of dog owners in my constituency and they will be shocked to hear how animals in the dog fighting world are abused.

“We are a nation of animal lovers, and we need to treat our pets with the respect they deserve. Further action is needed to tackle this barbaric and sadistic bloodsport – including stiffer sentences as a deterrent to those who force dogs to fight one another.”

The League Against Cruel Sports has started a petition calling for the Government to more effectively tackle dog fighting, including increasing sentences for convicted dog fighters. The petition can be signed at www.league.org.uk/dogfighting

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Steve McCabe

Steve McCabe is the Labour MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak, and has been an MP continuously since 1 May 1997.

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