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Dublin: 10°C Sunday 29 November 2020

Men plead guilty to training dogs for animal fights

The PSNI said that the men were aged 43 and 19 years of age.

Items seized by the police
Items seized by the police
Image: PSNI

A TWO-YEAR investigation into dog fighting saw two men pleading guilty today to keeping animals for use in animal fighting.

The PSNI welcomed the guilty plea by 43-year-old, Jerimiah Kirkwood, Chris Kirkwood (23) and Wayne Kirkwood (20) from East Belfast, in relation to keeping or training animals for use in connection with animal fights; ownership of items in connection with an animal fight; and also causing unnecessary suffering to four terrier cross pups in Belfast Crown Court.

Jamie Morrow (19), also from East Belfast, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to keeping or training animals for use in connection with an animal fight.

imageDetective Inspector Peter Mullan pictured beside items seized in connection with animal fights.

Detective Inspector Peter Mullan said of the guilty pleas:

The corresponding police investigation has taken over two years and a significant amount of time and energy has been invested in bringing these individuals before the court.

He thanked the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA), the Scottish SPCA, the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and members of the local community for their support during the investigation.

He added that police will continue to follow up all reports of animal cruelty linked to fighting offences. When the PSNI is made aware of a possible breach in the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 or Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 for fighting offences, an investigating officer is assigned to carry out inquiries.

Anyone with information on offences regarding non-farmed animals – including domestic pets such as cats, dogs, horses and donkeys – should contact the animal welfare officer in local councils. Anyone in Northern Ireland who has a suspicion regarding organised fighting offences is asked to contact their nearest police station on 0845 600 8000.

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