A total of 47 dogs were seized by police and the RSPCA yesterday after raids on properties with alleged links to dog fighting.

In Birmingham, 16 addresses were searched with dog fighting paraphernalia, three treadmills, veterinary kits and a video, seized.

West Midlands Police arrested ten men who have been interviewed in connection with possession of dangerous dogs and alleged dog fighting offences.

They were bailed pending further inquiries.

The raids, in Hodge Hill, Handsworth, Saltley, Alum Rock, Smethwick, Lozells and Aston, were part of Operation Lace.

In February, officers raided a property in Alum Rock, Birmingham, where dog fighting was believed to have been staged.

Two badly injured dogs were found at the scene. One died from its injuries and the other was later put down.

Twenty-two men were questioned and could face charges relating to dog fighting. Four other men were bailed to return for questioning at the end of April.

Chief Inspector John Wilkins, from the RSPCA, said: "It's astonishing to think that, even in the 21st century, there are still a small minority of people who enjoy the barbaric sport of pitting one dog against another and we will continue to make sure that those involved are dealt with through the courts.

"We are extremely pleased with the operation and would like to thank the West Midlands Police for their help and cooperation throughout.