On Wednesday, the Nyíregyháza District Court sentenced eight people to a sentence between six months and a year in prison, and a fine for organizing illegal dogfighting.
Zoltán Gunyecz, the head of the Criminal Chamber of the Nyíregyháza Court, said in a statement sent to MTI that the first criminal case was brought against the accused for the offenses of organizing an illegal animal fight and animal cruelty, the second, fourth, and fifth defendants to one year’s imprisonment suspended for three years, and the third defendant to eight months imprisonment on the same charges.
The sixth defendant in the case was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years, for the offenses of organizing an illegal dogfight as an accomplice, and as an accessory to animal cruelty. The seventh defendant was sentenced to three years’ probation for the same offense, and the eighth defendant was sentenced to a fine of HUF 750,000 (EUR 1,800), also for the offenses of organizing an illegal animal fight and animal cruelty as an accomplice.
The defendants bred and trained dogs for fighting. The animals were run on a special treadmill, kept on short, particularly thick, heavy chains, and tested in unrated animal fights with other dogs. Their poor general condition due to malnutrition, thinness, and dehydration, was in itself capable of causing permanent damage to the animals’ health and death, said Zoltán Gunyecz.
Most of the defendants knew each other from dog circles and, in addition to taking part in animal fights with their dogs, they regularly organized them and agreed in advance on the details. For example, at the animal fight on November 28, 2020, the sixth defendant arrived as a spectator but ended up refereeing the second match during the animal fight. The second defendant was regularly assisted in the care of the dogs trained and bred by his brother, and the third defendant was assisted by his partner, who was also aware that the dogs were being kept for animal fighting.
The prosecution and some of the defendants and their lawyers were given three days to think about the case, so the judgment is not final.
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