Gangs of youths are breeding a new type of powerful hunting dog to kill and maim wildlife in the countryside in an alarming new trend known as âpsycho poachingâ.
The RSCPA has told HuffPost UK that thugs torture pets and wildlife for fun and share footage of animals being ripped apart, with secret screenings even being set up in the back room of pubs.
The phenomenon is known as âpsycho-poachingâ or âextreme huntingâ, and has led to the development of a tough new breed of dog, the bull lurcher.
A cross between the illegal pitbull terrier and a lurcher, the animals are trained to track and kill rabbits, foxes and even deer.
They are bred for both speed and ferocity, experts say. âThey have the speed of a lurcher and the immense jaw strength of a pit-bull terrier,â an RSPCA spokesperson said.Â âOur countryâs wildlife is no match for these dogs once theyâre set upon.â
RSPCA special operations chief inspector Will Mitchell said the motivation for the gangs appeared to be purely sadistic.Â âWe are getting more and more reports of people randomly hunting animals with dogs.
âWeâve dealt with numerous cases where groups of mainly young men spend their evenings going out across countryside and farmland with their dogs to track down and kill badgers, foxes, deer and anything else that may get in their way.
âThe dogs can and do get injured in these fights to the death. With these people, itâs not about money or betting.
âIt is all about the dogs and what they can do. Itâs about who has the most powerful dog. Itâs about bragging rights. It is absolutely shocking.
âThis is gratuitous killing for fun. They donât gain anything from their actions.â
Earlier this month a Lancashire man was jailed for 22 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life after the RSPCA obtained videos of him setting his dogs on a pet cat and a fox.
Joseph Whittamâs phone uncovered images of a dog being encouraged to attack a gerbil and still images of a fox attack which show the animal being baited by the dog.
Mitchell said: âOne of the magistrates had to leave court after watching the sickening footage.
âThe cat was killed although we never found the body and never traced the poor catâs owners.
âIn another video, the dogs can be seen attacking and biting a fox. In all the footage Whittam can clearly be heard encouraging the dogs and egging them on.âÂ
Suzanne Heaney, Dog Fighting Programmes Manager at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: âIt is extremely concerning that gangs are training dogs to rip apart British wildlife.
âThe suffering inflicted on deer, hare, badgers and foxes who are literally torn apart in the jaws of dogs, so that these thugs can kill for kicks, is chilling.Â
âThe reality is that those who engage in extreme acts of cruelty rarely stop with animals.
âThere are proven links between those who commit atrocities against animals and engage in other crime such as drugs, anti-social behaviour and other forms of violenceâ.Â
Article source: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/gangs-use-killer-dogs-to-hunt-regions-wildlife-in-new-psycho-poaching-trend_uk_5c190354e4b08db99057dec0