Numerous dogs have been seized by the Scottish SPCA following two simultaneous raids in Angus and Aberdeenshire.
Police Scotland and SSPCA officers led raids on premises in the two areas last week on the back on intelligence gathered as part of the clampdown on animal fighting.
An undercover officer in the Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit (SIU) said: “We uncovered intelligence to suggest illegal animal fighting was taking place at these locations.
“With serious concerns about the welfare of both the dogs and wild animals being subjected to this, we worked with the police and external partners to raid both addresses. We’ve seized several animals and will be checking on their condition.”
The officer added: “Offences such as this are incredibly difficult to investigate as they are very well-guarded by those involved.
“Our expertise, in conjunction with the police, has proven to be invaluable to tackling these underground crimes.
“This is the latest in a string of animal fighting cases the Scottish SPCA has taken on recently.
The Society is taking the fight to anyone engaging in this barbaric practice and sending out a clear message that it is not acceptable.”
“As it is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to give any more specific information at this time.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers supported the Scottish SPCA in relation to search warrants at an address in Angus and an address in Aberdeenshire.
“Officers from Police Scotland will continue to work with the Scottish SPCA and partner agencies.”
So far this year, the Scottish SPCA has taken an average of a call on animal fighting every other day. Approximately 50% of the jobs the charity’s SIU take on relate to it.
The investigation continues.