A DOGFIGHT video filmed in Bahrain has sparked outrage after being circulated on social media.
The Bahrain Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) is urging people to help identify men whose faces appear in the three-minute clip.
Two men believed to be the owners and around 10 other spectators appear in the footage, in which the dogs are made to fight in a ring.
One of the apparent owners, who is seen wearing a blue shirt, is addressed as “Bu Aziz” in the video.
“I invite everyone to help us find those behind this cruel act,” BSPCA president Mahmood Al Faraj told the GDN.
“We are aware of this video and it is all over Bahrain on social media.
“By now we have received hundreds of calls and messages. We hope to find the culprits by Sunday, if not earlier.
“Such cruelty against animals is unacceptable and the BSPCA will fight against it.”
The video is said to have emerged after initially being shared in a WhatsApp group.
“Usually, such videos are never posted on social media and there are closed groups for people engaged in animal fighting,” one campaigner said.
“They make big money out of this. It involves gambling and there are strict rules in these groups that they don’t leak such videos.
“But someone inside the group, for some reason, sent this out.”
Meanwhile, animal rights activist Nasreen Ashkanani, a former BSPCA volunteer, said police were often unable to act despite the presence of a video.
“There was a similar video showing a dog fighting ring and I was at that time volunteering with BSPCA,” she said.
“I remember with much effort we traced the location and together with police we went there, but the man there refused to take any responsibility for the fighting ring inside the house – saying it was there when he rented the house.
“The police could not do anything.
“There were other cases which involved cruel treatment of animals and the men were just warned. This means there is no fear of the law.”
She also called for stricter breeding regulations in the country.
“These fighting dogs are true breeds and we have no strict regulation on dog breeding in Bahrain,” she added.
“People bring in pure breeds and breed them on rooftops, in basements and even inside toilets.
“Some of these breeds are unable to cope with our weather. That’s why we see stray dogs like huskies and Persian cats dumped, these animals fall sick and the owners abandon them.
“It is the same with fighting dogs, when they are injured they are dumped. There should be strict laws governing this and implementation of the law is equally important.
“A warning or a fine is not enough for cruelty to animals.”