Green criminological perspectives on dog-fighting as organised masculinities -based animal harm

Nurse, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-2486-4973, 2021. Green criminological perspectives on dog-fighting as organised masculinities -based animal harm. Trends in Organized Crime. ISSN 1084-4791

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Dog-fighting was historically a working-class pursuit within predominantly white, working-class subcultures, representing a distinct type of organised animal exploitation. However, contemporary dog-fighting has moved way from its organised pit-based origins to encompass varied forms of organised activity including street dog-fighting in the form of chain fighting or chain rolling, the use of dogs as status or weapon dogs. This paper examines dog-fighting from a green criminological perspective as a distinct form of organised and subcultural crime. Analysis of UK legislation identifies that the specific offence of ‘dog-fighting’ does not exist. Instead, dog-fighting is contained within the ‘animal fighting’ offence, prohibited by provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. However, beyond the actual fight activities (pitting dogs against each other or attacking humans), a range of other offences are associated with dog-fighting including: illegal gambling; attending dog-fighting events; animal welfare harms; and the breeding and selling of dogs for fighting. This paper’s analysis examines contemporary legal perspectives on such activities; also discussing how illegal fieldsports (e.g. dog-fighting and cock-fighting) are dominated by organised crime elements of gambling and distinctly masculine subcultures through which a hierarchy of offending is established and developed. Commensurate with previous research that identifies different offender behaviours and offending within animal crime, this paper concludes that variation exists in the nature of dog-fighting to the extent that a single approach to offenders and offending behaviour is unlikely to be successful.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Trends in Organized Crime
Creators: Nurse, A.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: 23 September 2021
ISSN: 1084-4791
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 08 Oct 2021 16:03
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2021 16:03
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