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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 10:03 GMT
BBC Spotlight's dog fight award
Undercover filming of Illegal dog fight
The Spotlight team filmed dog fights using undercover cameras
BBC NI's Spotlight has won a Royal Television Society award for its scoop last year on pit bull fighting.

The 17-month investigation, led by reporter Mandy McAuley, uncovered 15 illegal dog fighting gangs in Northern Ireland.

Gerard Cavlan, GAA all-Ireland medal winner, was exposed as a senior figure in the dog fighting operation.

Police have carried out a number of searches, thought to be as a result of the Spotlight programme.

Spotlight won in the Nations and Regions Current Affairs category, having travelled to Finland to uncover how illegal dogs are transported from Europe into Northern Ireland.

Peter Johnston, controller of BBC NI said: "To get this recognition from the television industry yet again, is a tremendous achievement for everyone in the Spotlight team. It's a reflection of the professionalism and quality of the journalism in BBC Northern Ireland."

After being taken into the inner circle of a group, Spotlight's undercover operator was permitted access to a dog fight in Tandragee.

"The most shocking thing was seeing the dogs being ripped apart and being covered in puncture wounds with gristle coming out of it and bites down to the bone where you could see the white of the bone underneath," he said.

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