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16 dogs removed from house in Bamber's Green as part of RSPCA investigation into illegal dog fighting

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Sixteen dogs were removed from a house near Stansted Airport as part of an RSPCA investigation into illegal dog fighting.

An address in Cobbs Lane, Bamber's Green, was raided early on Wednesday (May 18) along with others in Chigwell and Knowsley by officers from the RSPCA’s special operations unit and members of the Essex, Metropolitan and Merseyside police forces.

Officers swooped on The Fox, a former pub now a six-bedroom family home worth £1.3m, in Bamber's Green.

A resident who asked not to be named said: "Dogs can be heard at all hours some days."

At least seven police cars attended as vehicles continued to arrive during the course of the morning. "It was a hive of activity," said the resident.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “Officers from the RSPCA’s special operations unit joined police in Essex, London and Merseyside today for the execution of warrants at three addresses as part of a joint investigation into dog fighting.

“Merseyside Police arrested one person at an address in Prescot [in Knowsley] where one dog was removed.

"A total of 16 dogs were removed from a property in [Bamber's Green near] Bishop’s Stortford and, in Chigwell, a goldfinch was seized by police.

“The dogs will now all be cared for by the RSPCA while enquiries are ongoing. As this is a live investigation, we will not be commenting any further at this time.”

The goldfinch seized in Chigwell is also in RSPCA care. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to possess, trap or sell a wild goldfinch, which are used in bird baiting.

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