Animal welfare charities are concerned about the increased use of live cats, foxes and badgers as “bait” to give pit bulls and other dangerous dogs their first taste of blood when being trained for illegal dog fights.

Also used are other, weaker dogs that are tied to a tree so that they can’t escape, or have their jaws taped shut so that they can’t fight back when thrown into a room with fighting dogs.

The authorities have warned that those looking for bait animals to be killed by their dogs will search the classified ads in newspapers for people offering dogs free, and then turn up with children in tow, to imply that the doomed animals are going to a good home.

Fox hunts use fox cubs as bait to train hound packs to kill, a practice known as cubbing.

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