Dogfighting has been documented in the recorded history of many different cultures, and is presumed to have existed since the initial domestication of the species. Many breeds have been bred specifically for the strength, attitude, and physical features that would make them better fighting dogs.
Blood sports involving the baiting of animals has occurred since antiquity, most famously at the Colosseum in Rome during the reign of the Roman Empire. However, in contemporary times, it is most associated with the English, who pursued it with utmost earnestness, which was barely known elsewhere in the world. For over six hundred years the pastime flourished, reaching the peak of its popularity during the sixteenth century. The various animal types involved in the bait allowed for the breed specialization and basic anatomical forms of fighting dogs, which we see today. Common breeds used in fights are: Bull terrier, Dogo argentino, Presa Canario, Fila Brasileiro and famous for its aggressiveness American Pit Bull Terrier.
Dogfighting has been popular in many countries throughout history and continues to be practiced both legally and illegally around the world.
In USA dogfighting is a booming business. Even though it's illegal, an estimated 40,000 people, attracted to fight purses as high as $100,000, are involved in professional dogfighting. Experts speculate that there could be as many as 100,000 additional people involved in "streetfighting"- informal dogfighting, often involving young people in gangs. A bill signed by President Bush in May 2007 made the federal law against dogfighting tougher, by strengthening penalties to felony level. The law bans interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities. Violators can now be sentenced to three years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Previously the maximum sentence was a year in jail. Nevertheless, the nightmare of dogfighting is growing, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
Australia is another country where dogfighting is forbidden. It is also illegal to possess any fighting equipment designed for dog fighting. Despite this, there are many dog fighting rings in Australia which are often associated with gambling activities and other illegal practices such as drug dealing and firearms. The illegal nature of dogfighting in Australia means that injured dogs rarely get veterinary treatment placing the dog' s health and welfare at even greater risk. "Restricted Breed Dogs" cannot be imported into Australia. The Pit Bull Terrier and the Perro de Presa Canario are the only breeds currently known to exist in Australia and there are strict regulations on keeping these breeds, including a prohibition on transferring ownership.
There is completely different attitiude to dogfighting in Japan. Under modern rules, dogs fight in a fenced ring until one of the dogs barks, yelps, or loses the will to fight. Owners are allowed to throw in the towel, and matches are stopped if a doctor judges it is too dangerous. Draws usually occur when both dogs won't fight or both dogs fight until the time limit. Champion dogs are called vokozuna, as in sumo. Dogfighting is not banned in Japan, except in the capital Tokyo and a few other cities. Dogfighting does not have strong links to gambling in Japan.
The damage caused by illegal dogfighting
Many owners also brutally treat or kill dogs that lose illegal dogfights. Reports have been made of dogs being:
Illegal dogfighting has negative effects on other animals as well. During training for illegal dog fighting, owners often use "bait animals" to train their dogs to fight. These animals are essentially sacrificed to the fighting dog. Bait animals can include:
- smaller dogs or other small animals.
Info and photos taken from:
What do you think about dogfighting? Should it be legal as in Japan or forbidden? If you're against, how would you react to prevent those events from happening?