Charges laid for organised dog fights

February 03, 2017

This is a joint statement between RSPCA South Australia and Environment Minister Hon Ian Hunter MLC

A 38-year-old man is due to appear before the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday 13 February after charges were laid on Friday 3 February as the result of continued investigations into offences under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to organised dog fighting.

RSPCA Inspectors and South Australian Police executed a warrant on the man’s Hillcrest home in August last year, and seized a number of electronic devices, implements allegedly relating to dog fighting and six dogs.

The man is facing 16 charges:

  • Six counts of keeping an animal for the purpose of using the animal in organised animal fights;
  • Two counts of organising an organised animal fight;
  • Two counts of promoting an organised animal fight;
  • One count of being present at an organised animal fight;
  • One count of being in possession of implements for the purpose of training the animal to fight another animal;
  • One count of being in possession of implements for the purpose of protecting the animal in a fight with another animal;
  • One count of being in possession of drugs to be administered to an animal for the purpose of assisting the animal to fight another animal, including injectable anabolic steroids, and;
  • Two counts of using an electrical shock collar on an animal.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Andrea Lewis said the dogs involved were specifically bred for fighting and not taken from the community, and this was the first time a prosecution had been commenced by RSPCA South Australia in relation to organised dog fights under relevant legislation.

 “Thankfully, it’s not something we see often. But we take allegations of organised dog fights very seriously.

Anyone engaging in illegal organised animal fights faces penalties of $50,000 or four years imprisonment.

Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Ian Hunter said the case demonstrated the State Government’s commitment to protecting the welfare and safety of all animals. 

We have strong laws against cruel and harmful treatment of animals, and dog-fighting is a particularly cruel practice. 

The Government supports RSPCA South Australia in its work to protect animals.

This case should serve as a warning that RSPCA and the Government are committed to protecting animals in our community.

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