BRITISH Asian crime gangs are behind an explosion in an extreme form of dog fighting.
The savage craze ignores old “rules” on weight, meaning dogs are often torn to bits by bigger opponents.
And investigators are struggling to keep up with the rise of the sick pastime among British-born Pakistani gangs which are also involved in guns and drugs.
Mike Butcher, chief inspector of special operations at the RSPCA, said: “The most serious injuries I’ve seen have been from fights run by this community.
“You get whole faces ripped off, bottom jaws missing, eyes out, legs broken. The dogs might just be left to fight to the death.
“They don’t enforce the rules as strictly as the old school dog fighters who would be very firm making sure dogs weighed the same.
“It’s a bit more of a free for all. You’ve got mismatches which make for a much more bloody fight.”
It is thought the gangs inherited their love of the cruel sport from Pakistan where it is legal.
But instead of training the bully kutta breed used for fighting in Asia they import pitbulls, often from Croatia.
The outlawed animals are capable of killing rottweilers within minutes. Once their jaws are locked on an opponent they can only be prised off with a stick or by strangling the beast until it passes out.
In the last two years, 60 British Asians have been jailed for dog fighting, said Mr Butcher.
Up to £20,000 can be wagered on a single fight.
Last November Liaquat Ali, 40, from Accrington, Lancashire, became the first person prosecuted under tougher laws banning organised dog fights when he was jailed for six months.
In October 2007 seven Birmingham men were caged for organising one of the bloodiest and longest dog fights ever.
Two animals died after suffering 124 separate injuries while fighting for hours in a makeshift pit in a kitchen showroom in Alum Rock, Birmingham.