Organised animal fighting is rife in Manchester as RSPCA figures reveal the city ranks third worst for this offence in the country.
The charity also revealed that there has been a 33% rise nationwide in reports of animal fighting or information related to organised animal fighting.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Ian Briggs said these incidents are premeditated acts of cruelty as the animals involved are bred for the sole purpose of fighting, often to the death.
He added: “RSPCA inspectors deal with countless instances of neglect caused by ignorance, but these cases are all about premeditated cruelty.
“People are deliberately breeding, training and fighting animals for the sole purpose of inflicting suffering.”
Chief Inspector Briggs also spoke about how the number of reports conflicted with the public perception that animal fighting is declining.
“People look at me with amazement when I tell them about some of the things I’ve seen and heard of when it comes to dogfighting and cockfighting,” he said.
“Some people simply can’t believe it still happens, but it does and these new figures show that it is as much a problem now, if not more, than any other point in recent years.”
However, he was optimistic that with public support this brutal treatment of our four-legged friends could be completely eradicated.
He said: “Hopefully one day organised animal fighting can truthfully be described as a thing of the past.
“Until then, we’ll keep investigating and try to bring about an end to such horrific levels of animal cruelty.
“The most important thing is that if someone does have any information they contact the RSPCA so that we can investigate.”
The figures were revealed as earlier this week a Wigan man was jailed for breeding pitbulls for fighting.
Anyone who wants to report animal cruelty can contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty and advice line by calling 0300 1234 999.
Image courtesy of Brittany Randolph, with thanks.