Three arrests as part of dog-fighting ring investigation in Devon | Exeter Express and Echo

June 11, 2014

POLICE investigating a suspected dog-fighting ring have made three more arrests as part of a lengthy joint investigation with the RSPCA.

This morning police and RSPCA officers carried out three warrants under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at three locations in Devon.

The inquiry centres around an alleged dog fighting ring which involves attacks on deer – including young fawns – foxes and wild boar.

Shortly after 8am on Wednesday officers executed the warrants at properties in Plympton, Beatland Cross and Walkhampton and as a result three men were later arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering and keeping dogs for fighting.

All three men – one aged 17, another aged 32 and a third in his 20s – were bailed to a later date after questioning at Plymouth’s Charles Cross police station.

These recent arrests follow the arrests of nine men which were made on January 9 this year. During a series of warrants executed on that day by Devon and Cornwall Police officers and RSPCA officers 16 dogs – including lurchers, running dogs and Staffordshire cross-breed type dogs – were seized.

Investigators have also seized and analysed a number of mobile phones belonging to the arrested men.

In addition, officers seized a number of animal carcasses and body parts of a deer.

Police have said the ongoing inquiry – titled Operation Spearhead – has come about as a result of community intelligence which has seen Plymouth work with the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the RSPCA for several months.

All of the men arrested have been bailed to a later date pending further inquiries.
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