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Home Deal News Article
Dangerous pit bull breeds are being illegally brought through the Port of Dover for dog fighting in Britain, it has been claimed.
The RSPCA has revealed many of the animals used in "fighting fraternities" have entered Kent from eastern European countries where dog fighting is legal.
In the UK, pit bull terriers are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 - but in other European countries, these animals are being bred bigger, harder and more dangerous.
British gangs then import the animals through Dover.
Mike Butcher, RSPCA chief inspector for the special operations unit, said: "What they do is put the down as a different breed.
"I'm not saying it's large numbers, but a lot of dogs we see in organised dog fighting are from eastern Europe and come through Dover."
Mr Butcher said the RSPCA has good contacts with the port and if anything is reported as suspicious they will investigate – but the problem is spotting the signs.
He said: "Unless you're an expert, it's hard to spot different breeds.
"If the dog comes in and the paperwork isn't right, we don't have the authority to send them back but the port does, so they can take them back to where they came from."
Mr Butcher said dogs that are brought over to the UK specifically for dog fighting are shipped into a life of mistreatment and malnourishment.
He said: "Dog fighting has lots of success. It has been growing since the Eighties and is a real problem.
"People want the biggest dog that looks hard to make them look hard. People haven't got any idea how to look after them properly."
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) is responsible for live animal exports through the port and conducts spot checks to ensure all animals are legal.
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