North West Wales

Dog fighting raids: Police and RSPCA seize 30 animals

Police and RSPCA officers have seized 30 dogs in raids at six properties across north Wales in a crackdown on dog fighting and dog baiting.

North Wales Police said it set up Operation Morpheus with the RSPCA to target "certain individuals".

One person was held during raids in the Anglesey, Caernarfon and Llandudno areas and more are said to be expected.

No details of the dog breeds have been released though some have injuries that are being treated by a vet.

The raids were carried out under animal welfare laws.

Ch Insp Ian Briggs, of the RSPCA's special operations unit, said: "Today's activity is the latest in the RSPCA's ongoing investigations across England and Wales into people using dogs to bait and fight wild animals.

"We have worked closely with North Wales Police's wildlife crime team and we appreciate their assistance in helping us get closer to tracking down those suspected of organised animal cruelty.

"Such activity causes barbaric levels of suffering. Hopefully joint working such as that seen today will help bring us closer to bringing an end to animal abuse."

'Crime priorities'

Ch Insp Briggs has previously described dog fighting as a "massive problem" in Wales and other parts of the UK.

His unit helped convict a major figure in dog fighting in south Wales in 2010.

Raids with South Wales Police on the man's home in Llanbradach, Caerphilly county, found a sophisticated set up aimed at running a fitness and training regime for the dogs kept there.

This included two treadmills for the animals as well as separate kennelling to keep the animals apart at all times.

Following the raids in north Wales on Tuesday, Sgt Rob Taylor, head of North Wales Police's new rural crime team said: "We take all rural crime seriously and will be proactive in pursuing people who use dogs for illegal purposes."

Wildlife officer Pc Eryl Lloyd added: "The tackling of such behaviour and the reduction of crime is in line with the national wildlife crime priorities, along with North Wales Police's aim of promoting trust and confidence to the public in relation to wildlife and dog cruelty offences."

Police said further inquiries were being made which could result in additional arrests.

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