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Dr Simon Harding, of Middlesex University London, interviewed illegal and legal dog owners as well as gang members as part of his research.
The research found that dangerous dogs are being bred by young men as a business asset in drug deals, debt collection and for their gang image.
A 16-year-old boy told him: "It's not just a dog, it's a half bull mastiff and half pit bull. I'll probably get another - we are looking to breed it - and we would get about £2,000 per dog."
Another boy, 17, said about pit bulls: "People know that if you are breeding you are making money from them."
Dogs that are classed as 'dangerous' are being bred a business asset in drug deals, debt collection and for their gang image, according to new research.
- The Dangerous Dogs Act is a law introduced in 1991 following a spate of attacks by aggressive or uncontrollable dogs.
- Dangerous dogs are classified by type, not breed, which means that a dog’s physical appearance will determine whether it’s deemed to be prohibited under the law.
- If your dog is seized by the police and found to be a banned type, the court can use its discretion to place them on the list of exempted dogs.
- This means that instead of them being destroyed, you can own them provided you follow certain conditions.
- The dog has to be muzzled and kept on a lead in public, they must be registered, insured, neutered, tattooed and microchipped.
- Defra has announced that all dogs must be microchipped from 2016.
- Changes to the law will also allow owners of dogs who attack on private property to be prosecuted.
Dangerous dogs are being bred by young men as an asset in drug deals, debt collection and for their gang image, according to new research.
More young men were using mastiffs, pit bulls, akitas and other aggressive dogs as a "commodity" for security and making money in gangs, the Middlesex University study found.
The study found the most aggressive dogs could be sold for more than £400, with owners building up their pet's muscles with vitamin supplements and even injecting them with steroids for fights.
The study, which will be presented to the British Sociological Association annual conference today, also found there has been a rise of 551% in hospital admissions for dog bites since 1991.