'Hunting and fighting' dogs seized in raid

Lurcher Image copyright Thinkstock

Police have seized 17 dogs and arrested four men as part of an investigation into dogs "used to hunt and fight wild animals".

Police said the offences committed under the Animal Welfare Act went "beyond hunting or poaching".

They made the arrests in Teignbridge, Devon in a joint investigation with the RSPCA, environmental health and trading standards.

A spokesman said the incidents involved using "animals against animals".

'Hunt and fight'

Sgt Mark Ruston said: "This goes far beyond hunting or poaching - it is about us collectively targeting those who choose to use animals against animals for their own gratification, without thought of injury to their own animals, or the animals they are targeting."

The RSPCA said the offences involved using terriers and lurchers to hunt and fight wild animals such as foxes, badgers and deer.

Ch Insp Ian Briggs from the RSPCA said: "The RSPCA takes any allegation that dogs have been used to hunt and fight wild animals extremely seriously."

The four men, said to be local, are being interviewed by police.

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