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PETS AND THEIR PEOPLE: SLAVE DOGS; Strays forced to hunt, then slaughtered.

Byline: By BRITT COLLINS

THOUSANDS of stray dogs are being snatched from the street and forced to take part in cruel hunts.

Once the "slave" hounds have flushed out enough prey they are DROWNED, HUNG or BLASTED to death by their kidnappers.

One pup even had his eyes shot out for fun.

The Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) is now urging People readers to help it stamp out the flourishing trade.

Investigator Tony Moore said: "It made you want to cry seeing this pup. He was half-dead and wandering the road blindly with these raw, bloody hollowed sockets for eyes. In the end we had to put him down."

The dog are crammed into filthy trucks and kept in disgusting conditions after being rounded up in southern Spain.

At their new "home" in Toledo, south of Madrid, the chained hounds were filmed fighting for rancid meat in a faeces-riddled compound.

They were then trained to hunt wild boar, rabbits and deer. First the dogs were starved for days then taunted with chickens, rabbits and even cats. Hunters even broke the smaller animals' legs so their screams got the dogs' attention. FAACE is now urging the Spanish authorities to ban the hunts. So far the government has only insisted on microchipping the dogs and disinfecting trucks. But Tony added: "These laws just don't go far enough and the hunters are already trying to block them."

To shame the Spanish authorities into action, sign our protest coupon (right) and we'll pass it on to Environment Minister Cristina Ruiz.

CAPTION(S):

CRUSH: Captured dogs in truck
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2005
Words:265
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