10/01/2007

Seven arrested in pit bull raids

Seven people have been arrested and 29 suspected pit bull terriers seized in a series of raids conducted by Merseyside police.

According to reports, police officers and RSPCA staff seized the dogs in a series of raids at 16 addresses in the Huyton and Stockbridge Village areas, which were carried out following tip-offs from the community.

The raids were carried out under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act. Under the act, owning one of four specific breeds - including pit bull terriers - carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment or a £5,000 fine.

The raids follow the death of five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson, who was mauled to death by a pit bull terrier-type dog at her grandmother's home in St Helens on New Year's Day.

Commenting on the raids, Superintendent Dave Connor said: "This is not a problem specific to Merseyside and it is clear that some people keep pit bull terriers as a status symbol.

"They may not fully understand the implications of owning this type of dog.

"Dog fighting is a barbaric activity and it will not be tolerated. Anyone who trains or breeds animals for that purpose can expect to be dealt with robustly."

(KMcA/EF)


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