No one convicted of dog fighting since 2010 has received a custodial sentence, Upper Bann MP David Simpson has revealed.
Mr Simpson was one of a number of MPs who met in Westminster Hall recently to discuss the issue.
They are hoping to have tougher penalties introduced and are campaigning for the implementation of a register that those convicted of animal cruelty offences must sign.
He said, “It was one of the more difficult debates to research and the grotesque facts that were heard were quite simply unbelievable. However, it is a reality and one that we cannot ignore.
“Pit bull type pups, who are among the most commonly used for fighting, are being openly sold for £1,000. They are then forced into rigorous training which involves the most horrendous abuse and literally left to fight for their lives as men stand by and watch.
“As a member of the sub-committee on animal welfare I am confident that following our investigations specifically relating to the effectiveness of the current legislation and laws imposed, tougher sentences will be brought forward and handed down by our justice system.”
He added, “I appeal to anyone that has information on this so-called sport to report it immediately.”
He said that compared to other parts of the UK, Northern Ireland has the toughest animal cruelty legislation.
Dog fighting was banned in 1835.