Six people appeared before a Lincoln court charged in connection with a nationwide RSPCA investigation into dog fighting.
Seven men and two women were charged after the RSPCA raided the homes of alleged dog fighting enthusiasts in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Birmingham and Teeside.
The arrests followed alleged dog fights in the villages of Kexby near Lincoln and Ragnall near Newark in May 2007 and April 2008.
Yesterday four men, one woman and one juvenile appeared before magistrates in Lincoln.
They are John and Claire Parker, both 44, and of Kexby Lane, Kexby; Owen Batey (40) of Cannock Road, Middlesbrough; Kenneth King (35) of Main Street, Ragnall; and Mohammed Farooq (33) of Daniels Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham.
A 16-year-old boy from Birmingham, who can not be named because of his age, also appeared before the court.
Three other people have also been charged in connection with RSPCA investigation but were not required to appear in court.
In total the nine people face more than 60 charges brought under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 or the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
No pleas were entered and District Judge Richard Blake adjourned the case for a four week trial beginning at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Monday, September 7.
A pre-trial hearing will take place at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday, June 16, which all nine defendants were ordered to attend.
For more stories from Lincoln’s courts, see Saturday’s Echo.