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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Dog-fighting concern after theft
pit-bull
Pit bull terriers are banned in the United Kingdom
The theft of a dangerous dog from an animal charity has sparked fears over dog fighting in Northern Ireland.

The dog was stolen on Wednesday night from premises belonging to the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at Carryduff in County Down.

The pit-bull terrier had been recovered earlier that day along with another similar dog in Bangor, County Down.

When the two dogs were being prepared to be moved, they attacked each other.
Stephen Philpott: Dogs were prepared to fight

Speaking on Thursday, a spokesman for the USPCA said it looked as if the stolen dog had been prepared for fighting

"The biggest problem with this dog is that it has been trained to fight other dogs so the first thing that it will not be able to do very well is cope with other dogs around it," said Stephen Philpott.

"The second problem is that it is a very hostile dog and it will defend itself and defend itself very well."

The RSPCA had recently warned the UK's population of pit-bull terriers - often bred for fighting - is on the rise, even though the breed is banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Stephen Philpott of the USPCA:
"It looks like a fighting dog"
See also:

26 Feb 01 | UK
26 Aug 00 | Entertainment
09 May 00 | Wales
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