On Tuesday, Rob Marris MP attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament held by animal welfare campaigners League Against Cruel Sports, highlighting the horrific reality of dog fighting.
He heard about Cupcake, a Staffordshire bull terrier, who has become the ‘poster dog’ for a campaign which is calling for tougher sentencing and a national register to tackle the scourge of dog fighting across the UK.
Before she was rescued, Cupcake was subjected to horrific abuse by her dog fighting owners. Used as bait 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.
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.
Rob Marris said:
“The humane treatment of all animals is one of the benchmarks of a civilised society. I believe that the UK government should actively work with the global community to respect, celebrate, and to take action to protect animals from barbaric treatment such as this.”
“All dog owners will be shocked to hear how animals in the dog fighting world are abused.
“Almost 20 years ago I was an inaugural member of the Labour Animal Welfare Society. Therefore, I support tough action to deal with illegal dog fighting.”
The event brought together animal welfare groups, and MPs from across Party lines to condemn dog fighting and call on the Government to act.