Brazilian police arrested dozens of people in Sao Paulo linked to an international dog-fighting ring, where a “macabre ritual” of serving barbecued dog meat to spectators was under way.
Nineteen pit bulls were rescued from the property in Mariripora, in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo, which police said Monday was part of an international dog-fighting circuit held last year in the Dominican Republic. An American man from California was acting as referee of a fight when police raided the property on Saturday night, and a Mexican man and Peruvian man were also present, police said in a news conference.
People around the world placed online bets on the fights, police said.
Photos and video footage provided by Parana’s state police showed malnourished animals with bloody gouges on their faces. One of the dogs, laid out on an ironing board, appeared unable to lift itself.
The investigation started with police targeting a breeder and a trainer in the state of Parana. They followed the two suspects to Sao Paulo and requested support from the state’s police force before making arrests.
Almost all of the suspects posted bail, and the foreigners are prohibited from leaving the country, according to local media G1. A judge blocked release of the man accused of organising the event.
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