AN ACCRINGTON man has today been jailed for six months for arranging dog fights.
In June 2007, police and RSPCA officers executed a warrant at two addresses in Blackburn Road, Accrington and Richmond Road, Blackburn.
When officers entered the Blackburn Road address, blood was found on the walls.
DNA samples were taken and the results came back that this was blood from more than one dog.
Liaquat Ali, 40, of Steiner Street, Accrington was arrested at the Richmond Road address, where police and RSPCA officers found a pit bull dog which had been starved and shut in a box as well as two video clips of dog fights on Ali’s mobile phone.
In a prosecution brought by the RSPCA, Ali pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull-type dog and possession of two pit bulls recovered from other addresses in March this year.
He was convicted of keeping a fighting venue and causing two dogs to fight.
Ali is the first person in the country to be prosecuted on the two specific offences of causing dogs to fight and keeping a fighting venue under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Police Constable Duncan Thomas, wildlife officer for Lancashire Constabulary said: “We are very satisfied regarding this conviction, it’s yet another superb example of the police and RSPCA working together in partnership to challenge dog fighting.
“Unfortunately, dog fighting is a so called ‘sport’ which is still pursued in the North of England; we hope this conviction will send a clear message to those involved that they will be prosecuted.”
Ian Briggs, chief inspector of the RSPCA Special Operations Unit, said: “This is a landmark case and we’re pleased with today’s sentence.
“The RSPCA and police will stop at nothing to bring those involved in dog fighting before the courts.
“We continue to appeal to the public to contact us with any specific information they may have, it is crucial in helping to stamp this out.
“And of course we hope today’s result sends a clear message to other people who are involved in this cruel ‘sport’.”