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Cops clampdown on dog smuggling

SA authorities say they are doing their best to prevent dogs from being smuggled out of the country.

SA authorities say they are doing their best to prevent dogs from being smuggled out of the country. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Animal Welfare Task Team (NAWTT) says police are doing a great job in preventing South African dogs from being taken across the border for organised dog-fighting syndicates.

The task team says over 100,000 dogs crossed the border illegally in the past year.

NAWTT says dog fighting is rife throughout Africa.

The task team's Mariette Hopley told the Redi Tlhabi Show that dog fighting is backed by influential people.

"They are funded by very influential people from across the globe. This has been going on for many years. The sad thing about this is that only last year we were looking at over 100,000 dogs that crossed the border through Namibia, specific breeds, to be utilised for breeding purposes and dog fights and a little percentage of that will be utilised for security."

Hopley says the culprits manage to cross the border after they tell police the dogs are meant for pet shops and orders for specific breeds.

"Basically, the process of transporting them is a very sad affair and it's very cruel to the dogs. Around 15 dehydrated dogs are thrown in the back of a Toyota Hilux bakkie and are transported in the blazing sun."

She says, however, that progress is being made.

"Now we've sharpened up the protocols at the border posts. Our police are actually doing quite a stunning job in looking at the vehicles that cross the border and are actually clamping down on these vehicles that do have dogs in them. The problem that we have is that the syndicates are finding other ways of getting the animals across the border."

Earlier this week, an anonymous tip-off led to the arrest of a syndicate in connection with organised dog fighting in Brakpan.

At least 14 dogs, some severely injured, were rescued while others had to be put down.