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(generated from captions) mortgage, a partner and a

child living in the house and

they are my primary concern

and I will do whatever it

takes to make sure that we

can cope with the interest

rate rises and put food on

the table. It is good to be

back into it. I men at the

end of the day acting is

better than working and you

know, I am kind of excited

about it, you know? It's,

um, beats working. It really

does. It still beats working.

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Everybody is really

excited, we are way ahead of

schedule. The kids are

blitzing it, it is really

really cool. exciting to watch. It is

CC Good evening. Virginia Haussegger with an ABC News update. At least States have warned the Rudd with an ABC News update. At least tw Government millions of dollars in compensation Government they'll demand hundreds o if it goes ahead with fuel. The Government's tax review if it goes ahead with GST cuts on will look at removing the GST on the

petrol excise - that would cut the

price of petrol by nearly four cents

a litre. Tasmania has a new Premier. Paul Lennon quit today, paving for David Bartlett who has only Paul Lennon quit today, paving way in parliament for four years. for David Bartlett who has only been Lennon says he's moved aside in parliament for four years. Mr generational change. The Tidbinbilla Lennon says he's moved aside for Tracking Station has played

role in relaying the first pictures Tracking Station has played a pivota from the space probe 'Phoenix' on Mars. After a 10-month journey,

was relief and jubilation as Mars. After a 10-month journey, ther 'Phoenix' made a soft touchdown near the Martian North Pole. entry has the Martian North Pole. An Australia second-highest honour at the entry has taken out the

the childhood Film Festival. 'Jerrycan' is based o Avery, who was in France to the childhood of producer Julius the prestigious Jury Prize. Avery, who was in France to receive Canberra's weather - early the prestigious Jury Prize. And tomorrow, then cloudy with isolated Canberra's weather - early fog showers and a chance thunderstorm. A top of 17 and a showers and a chance of a of 5. Sydney - 21, Melbourne thunderstorm. A top of 17 and a low Adelaide - 17. More news in of 5. Sydney - 21, Melbourne - 16,

THEME MUSIC Release the dog. RSPCA, and, according to Australia's Dog fighting - brutal, illegal, behind a wall of secrecy. run here by criminal gangs In America and the UK, publicly exposed, the practice has been with sporting heroes implicated. secretly filmed the dog fighters For more than a year, the BBC to the death. who breed and match pit bulls dog-fighting gangs McAuley investigates the Tonight, BBC Panorama's Mandy forced authorities to act. and how a little girl's death an explosive crossbreed The American pit bull terrier, the ultimate canine gladiator. created by dog-fighters to be A brick-like head, powerful jaws

whippet-thin body. and an athletic,

Tenacious, agile, to inflict terrible injuries. it is genetically programmed completely went mad, basically. It got hold of me and just on the floor It just started banging me and just throwing me all around. it was a live person in its mouth You wouldn't even think at the time. bull old when she was savaged by a pit Rukhsana Khan was just six years in 1991. outside her Bradford school it exposed a lung. One bite was so deep left with shattered ribs, She lost half her blood and was missing teeth, and a broken nose. her. were within an inch of killing Doctors said Rukhsana's wounds provoked a public outcry The attack on Rukhsana and was a major factor Dangerous Dogs Act. in the creation of the 1991 from midnight tonight I can tell the House for fighting the import of dogs bred terriers and Japanese tozers such as the American pit bull (Members cheer) will be banned. RAP MUSIC PLAYS

symbol. class pit bulls are a status For Liverpool's young criminal dogs. Internet, boasting about their The gangs even post videos on the bull Anyone caught possessing a pit destroyed, will usually have their dog their pet isn't a danger but if owners convince the courts and leashed in public, microchipped, muzzled and will be neutered, only then will they be spared. the pit bull's last child victim. Rukhsana Khan believed she'd be She wasn't! DJ: This is BBC Radio Merseyside. to death by a pit bull Terrier A 5-year-old girl mauled at this family home on Merseyside as Ellie Lawrenson. has been named It was here on Merseyside again into the public consciousness that the pit bull ripped its way with the death of Ellie Lawrenson. was blood in the hallway. I walked into the house and there I looked in the front room, was covered in blood. and the laminate flooring and a large chair by the window. I saw a dark coloured suite I saw a girl's body. chair. Her head was near the large with blankets. I covered the child's body is a plastic surgeon Christian Duncan Hospital in Liverpool. at the Alder Hey Children's children that survive dog attacks, He operates on those

he's been kept extremely busy. and over the last year over the last year In this hospital we have averaged approximately one admission every day. to the Accident and Emergency wounds so serious Around 70 of those suffered they underwent plastic surgery. of children We get an increasing number of one and the age of six. between around about the age will be victims of pit bulls. Around a quarter of these children or a pit bull dog, An American pit bull terrier, on a child. can inflict very serious damage is very significant The bite force that's generated and usually involves puncture wounds and that'll be multiple involved. because there are a lot of teeth The way the injury takes place often involves a certain amount of traction

and what happens is you get the teeth puncturing the skin,

digging in and then pulling. Somebody is breeding these pit bulls. The question is, who are they and how do they operate? Behind the inner city teenage gangs and their street status symbols is a supply chain which has its roots in organised dog fighting. A criminal network in a different league to the pseudo gangsters.

Over the years I've reported extensively on paramilitary violence here in Northern Ireland. The world I'm about to enter is just as dangerous. I'll require specialist help

from someone with the skill and training to win these people's confidence, someone they will never suspect. We first met Steve in his home town of Newcastle. An undercover operative, he spent many years serving with an elite British Army unit. But this time, instead of guns, Steve will be relying on his wits. I would later meet up with him in Northern Ireland because, as we reveal, it is a major pit bulls supply route to UK cities like Liverpool as others have discovered. Northern Ireland is the epicentre of dog fighting in the UK if not Europe. You have two of the biggest dog fighting kennels operating in this country and they are absolutely paramount to the supply of pit bulls over to England. Stephen Philpott and his team have been battling dog fighters for years. There were local successes but something was to happen which opened the door on this secret world, not just in Northern Ireland, but right across the rest of the UK and Europe. Let me know if any vehicles are out at the front, OK? Yeah. OK, cheers. Bye. The USPCA were tipped off that a pit bull imported into the Irish Republic, where the breed is legal, would be smuggled illegally over the border into Northern Ireland. As that animal was being unloaded, I was satisfied that that dog was a heavily scarred pit bull terrier. A USPCA team trailed two men to this house in the town of Dungannon.

With police backup they raided the property, seizing the smuggled pit bull and discovering three other unlicensed dogs. In a shed we found training equipment, mainly treadmills, mechanised treadmills that I know are used by organised dog fighters

to condition their dogs and stamina train their dogs for fighting. But Stephen Philpott wasn't prepared for what happened next. The man whose house he'd raided is an Irish sporting legend. Gerard Cavlan is a Gaelic football star, a half-forward for County Tyrone.

He's played in front of 83,000 fans to win the all Ireland final. The heavily scarred pit bull seized from Cavlan's house was a finished fighting dog called Cannon Ball, but it wasn't just the capture of Cannon Ball which excited Stephen Philpott. It was the discovery of dog-fighting literature in Cavlan's house. Some of the top fighting gangs in the country are listed here. They have names like Bone Yard Kennels, Prize Fighter and Cavlan's own outfit, The Bulldog Sanctuary Kennels.

There were also blow-by-blow accounts of major dog fights in Ireland, the UK and Europe in the last 10 years. Some of the dog fighters are even pictured posing with their pit bulls, and children are included in some of the snaps. The material at Gerard Cavlan's house showed us that dog fighting was more organised, more lucrative and bigger than we had ever, ever thought possible. This was an absolute Aladdin's cave of material for anyone who now wanted to go and investigate dog fighting. And that's exactly what we wanted to do. Clearly Cavlan had international connections. As we sifted through the box of evidence seized from the football star's home, two names stood out. A Fin called Robert Gonzales, the man named on Cannon Ball's pet passport, and Paul Dunkel, the boss of a pit-bull breeding business based outside Helsinki. Posing as a couple, Steve,

the undercover operative and I travelled to Finland

to investigate the possibility of buying a fighting pit bull from Paul Dunkel. We found his house hidden away at the end of a long lane surrounded by forest. Dunkel led us on a kennel tour, assuring us his dogs had impeccable fighting credentials. We used secret cameras on this trip, but Dunkel did allow us to use a camcorder. Pit bulls are legal in Finland. Dog-fighting is not. Being a Dunkel pit bull can't be much of a life. As pit bull after pit bull was introduced it was clear we were standing in the middle of a dog-fighting factory. Then out of the blue came the link to Cannon Ball, the pit bull seized at Gerard Cavlan's home. Dunkel told us he knew Robert Gonzales, the name on Cannon Ball's pet passport.

In fact, Gonzales had tested Cannon Ball against one of Dunkel's pit bulls. Dogfighters call it a roll. No wonder Cannon Ball was found to be heavily scarred when he was captured by the USPCA.

But back to the business of choosing a fighting dog. Nipper could be ours for 2000 euros. Dunkel also offered to export the potentially lethal pit bull. We wanted to test the UK ban on importing dogs bred for fighting. We told Dunkel we'd be back in a few months to buy Nipper. Dog-fighting is extremely brutal, but there's a lot more to it

than simply forcing two pit bulls into a ring like this one and waiting for them to tear each other to pieces. The orgy of violence unfolds in a highly controlled environment.

For instance, each ring must be at least 15x15 foot and carpeted, and you've got these marks called 'scratch lines' which identify each dog's corner. When you hear that a dog has been 'scratched', it means it's been released from behind these lines to fight.

Matches are governed by a strict set of rules. There are 19 in all and each offers a unique insight into how underground fights are conducted. For years dogfighters have tried to keep them secret, but this copy was seized during the raid on Gerard Cavlan's house. Take rule 5, the pre-match washing of the dogs. It reads like a bizarre ritual. Both dogs to be washed in the same warm water. Both dogs to be rinsed in clean water taken from the same container. One kennel in particular appears time after time in the match reports found in Cavlan's home. They're one of the most notorious gangs of dog-fighters in the UK, indeed in Europe, and they're based here in the town of Tanderagee in County Armagh. They're the Farmer's Boys. The Farmer's Boys are absolutely huge. They're massive. They're the Manchester United of the dog-fighting world. Anywhere you go they're talked about with the utmost respect. Over the last 25 years they have established training partners in inner city Britain and they're now selling their dogs to those people in those cities - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, London. But how were we going to infiltrate an international dog-fighting ring? We'd seen pictures of the Farmer's Boys

but making contact with the gang wasn't going to be easy. Our intelligence told us that dog shows in the Irish Republic provided a safe meeting place for fighters. Pit bulls are legal here. Then we got lucky. We came across an advert in a local paper for a dog show here at Castle Bellingham, just across the border. GIRL: Look at them wee puppies! It was a long shot but it worked. Among ordinary members of the public we found some Farmer's Boys. Steve had spotted the godfather of the Farmer's Boys, Stephen Barriskill. He caught his attention

by talking about our recent trip to Dunkel Kennels. Legend has it that Barriskill imported the first pit bull into Northern Ireland in the 1980s when the dogs were still legal. The Dangerous Dogs Act was meant to stamp out pit bulls as a breed, but dog-fighting still thrives, attracting some very dangerous people, as the USPCA has discovered. Sledgehammer attacks arson attacks on our properties, and on numerous occasions these people just steal the dogs straight back off us again. It's a very, very, very difficult world to bring to an end. A world our undercover operative was being drawn into. Steve's exchange at Castle Bellingham was enough to get him invited to another show on the Farmer's Boys home turf in Northern Ireland. Pit bulls are banned here but the gang openly paraded fighting dogs among legitimate breeds, and Stephen Barriskill had a surprise in store. What was Steve supposed to do. It had to be a test. But would he pass? Barriskill could relax. Whatever happened, the Farmer's Boys would take away the top prizes that day. First up was a Farmer's Boy with his fighting dog Bucky. Next up was another Farmer's Boy, Chris Hammel. He had actually watched Cannon Ball fight in Finland with the footballer Gerard Cavlan. Steve got his reward for handing out most of the prizes to the Farmer's Boys. Barriskill invited him to join them for a drink after the show. The Paddock is the Farmer's Boys pub of choice. Steve met the Farmer's Boys there on many subsequent occasions, invariably to hear Barriskill hold court. The Farmer's Boys have built their name on keeping outsiders out. But that's just what they've done. Now Steve needed to buy a pit bull. It would give him credibility with the Farmer's Boys, but we also wanted to find out, despite a ban, how easy it would be to smuggle a fighting dog into the UK. That meant a return to Paul Dunkel in Finland. Hello, Dunkel. How are you, mate? Dunkel took us up into the woods to see Nipper again. The dog is descended from Little Killer, a Texan fighting pit bull legend. Then it was back to the house where Dunkel and his wife, Yonna, talked us through how to illegally import a fighting pit bull into a country like the UK. It seemed like second nature to them. Mission accomplished. We'd bought Nipper and would test the UK ban on importing fighting dogs later. But while we were in Finland we also wanted to visit the other man named on the paperwork found in Gerard Cavlan's house - Robert Gonzales. Once Gonzales had checked our dog-fighting credentials he seemed happy to talk about Cannon Ball, the pit bull seized from Gerard Cavlan. Gerard Cavlan's legion of fans had no idea their hero has more than Gaelic football on his mind. But we wanted to hear about Cavlan's secret dog-fighting life from the horse's mouth. So through Bobby Gonzales we made him an offer. If Cavlan wanted the evidence to disappear, Steve would steal Cannon Ball back from the authorities. Half an hour after Steve put the phone down to Gonzales, Cavlan bit. There he is! There he is now! Stand by, stand by! Cavlan was more widely travelled than we had imagined.

He admitted visiting dog-fighters in Holland to watch Cannon Ball fight. and confirmed he'd been to Finland RADIO TALKBACK barracks. park which overlooked the Steve drove Cavlan to a country in undergrowth. Our cameramen were hidden to Cavlan. Cannon Ball was not a new concept Then it turned out kidnapping We never intended to. We didn't kidnap Cannon Ball. Cavlan duly appeared in court. of a pit bull type, He pleaded guilty to possession was an innocent but the court heard that Cavlan as a favour for a friend. who had collected Cannon Ball with a fine, The footballer walked free terrier-type dogs, a 5-year ban on keeping and ordered to pay costs. On appeal, the courts reduced the costs and lifted the ban on owning dogs. Cavlan may lead a double life but let's get back to the men whose whole life it is to fight dogs, the Farmer's Boys. This is Tom Bell. There you go. He is Stephen Barriskill's right-hand man of the Farmer's Boys. and the breeding backbone Stephen Barriskill, turned up. Then the godfather himself, the atmosphere bad at the end. I hate losing. It turns Farmer's Boys. forthcoming fight hosted by the There was also news of a transit van from The Paddock Bar Steve would be picked up in a that evening. to a secret location, From there he would be taken Tanderagee owned by Tom Bell. a ramshackle barn on land outside 'The Party House'. The Farmer's Boys call it for a dog fight. It was an ideal venue breeding prime stock. It's also where the gang have been Steve would be frisked We were convinced cameras to film this dog fight. so decided not to take secret It was medieval.

The blood started probably was in the first... ..probably was in the first two minutes. And what kind of injuries were these dogs be sustaining? Deep puncture wounds from the dogs' teeth, and some of the puncture wounds were hitting, like, vital arteries, like veins and they must have been real pumping. Yeah, pumping blood. Pumping blood? the perspex side of the wall, When the dogs were hitting these big smears down the wall, then they were leaving big smears on the carpet.

blue. Ellie's death came out of the It seemed like a freak accident.

died, But in the months before Ellie wall in Merseyside. the writing was already on the making their horrific mark here. Pit bulls had been regularly

attacked by a pit bull in a park Eight year old Nikkita Douglas was

before Ellie Lawrenson died. near her home seven months artery. The bite just missed a main surgery. to undergo extensive plastic The wound was so bad, Nikkita had Soon as he pulls the surgical cloth from Nikkita's leg, I had to reach over Nikkita's bed and get a bowl because I was literally sick, and I cried and cried and cried and said there's no way a dog's done that to Nikkita's leg. It was just like a shark had got her leg. I couldn't talk to her because all I was doing was crying. I couldn't answer her questions.

"Nan, why did the dog pick me? All she kept saying to me, "Why?" to an 8-year-old child How can you explain the answer of it. when I don't know After Nikkita's attack lifted all the pit bulls then, the authorities should have to be killed. not wait for a child If they would have done that, I really believe would still be alive today. that Ellie Lawrenson Over in Northern Ireland the climate had changed. the Farmer's Boys also knew he was reacting to Ellie's death. Steve rang Tom Bell to see how the fan like, isn't there? Aye, there's some shit hitting in Liverpool mate, is it...? Aye. What about the guys seized eight or nine dogs It was on the news that they've in Liverpool. Aye. Is he alright with people, like, is he?

But Bell would soon have his own problems.

His party house was raided a few days later. A lifetime of breeding the ultimate fighting dog looked to have disappeared overnight. and taken away in a convoy 28 pit bulls were seized USPCA vans to be destroyed. of council and For 30 years the USPCA have asked to give us information for the public on organised dog fights. Where are these dogs kept? We never got it. that was to change that forever - But one thing happened started our phones ringing the death of Ellie Lawrenson stopped ringing since. and they've never take on the party house raid Stephen Barriskill had a cynical and Ellie's death. action. some Farmer's Boys were pining for With fighting in the UK on hold, dog fighter though. No problem for the international to another country. You just hop on a plane This time it was Finland, and Bobby Gonzales was the host. He'd organised a night of dog fighting to which the Farmer's Boys were invited. The first Farmer Boy down the steps was Gary Adamson from Teesside. We'd met him before at the Tanderagee dog fight. Farmer's Boy Chris Hammall was also game. Ireland. He'd travelled from Northern tour of his yard, Next day, Gonzales conducted a behind his home. located in the woods here would fight later that night, Many of the dogs they would see and at least one would die. with a conventional camera, Steve tried to film the fights had other ideas. but Bobby Gonzales between two 10-month-old pups. Fight one was a roll It's bred pure through the blood straightaway. that they know how to fight which was the young pups, And the first fight that we seen dogs would be able to do that. it was a shock to know that young the dogs got older, bigger As the evening progressed, and the clashes more violent. a steam train hitting a wall. The dogs clash like You can hear it, you can hear the bone crunching. The heavier the dog, the more the crash - a really significant noise of bone on bone. Then came the final fight of the evening. It was between two pit bulls which were actually smaller than the dog which killed Ellie Lawrenson. It was a very heavy dogfight, at 51-52 lbs. both dogs weighing in fight, agreed to referee the final Hammy, from the Farmer's Boys, probably the most horrific fight. Release the dogs! Right boys, ready? That fight lasted for 45 minutes for the 45 minutes. and there wasn't a let-up blood became increasingly covered in As the fight wore on the ring

dogs started to weaken. and slowly but surely one of the which moved in for the kill. But it wasn't its opponent and took it to a side building, Bobby Gonzales lifted the dog its ear tail and a crocodile clip onto put a crocodile clip onto its

over the dog and threw a bucket of water and then plugged it to the main electricity system to kill it. The first that we knew that there was something up was that all the lights in the barn went off. But it hadn't worked because it had fused. The dog was near dead, but not quite complete, so he took it to the house to finish the job. Back inside his house, upset at electrocuting the dog Gonzales didn't seem to be too for him. which had just given its all he callously called 'chain space'. It's death had freed up what Gonzales outside a restaurant We caught up with near his home.

confront him. Finish police we were going to For our safety we had warned

my name is Mandy McAuley, Mr Gonzales,

I'm a reporter with the BBC. illegal dog-fighting. I want to ask you about dogfights at your home in Finland. You've been holding illegal

him for animal cruelty. Then the Finnish police arrested animals suffer? Do you enjoy watching exporting pit bulls With Merseyside dogfighters to elude capture, in the current climate you might conclude that it's not the best time to import a fighting dog into the UK. But you'd be wrong.

It's shockingly easy, despite a ban. The import of dogs bred for fighting such as the American pit bull terriers will be banned. We visited the Dunkels to arrange for Nipper, our pit bull, to travel to the UK via Dublin. Other pit bulls the Dunkels had sold and exported to dogfighters had been doing well in the months since we had last met them. Nipper would be travelling on a Dunkel doctored EU pet passport claiming he was a Boxer/Labrador mix. Nipper was loaded into the aircraft without a hitch.

He travelled first from Finland to Frankfurt. A change of planes and then on to Dublin. The Irish Republic is a backdoor into the UK for fighting dogs. Pit bulls are legal here, and according to our dog-fighting contacts it would be easy to get Nipper into the country.

That's exactly what happened. We weren't questioned once about Nipper's true breed or background,

even though he had fighting scars on his backside and front legs. Once we'd overcome some bureaucratic hurdles, it was just a simple matter of popping Nipper into a van and driving him north into Northern Ireland and the UK.

Mr Dunkel, my name is Mandy McAuley, I'm a reporter with the BBC. I want to ask you why you've been exporting fighting pit bulls across Europe on false papers. Mrs Dunkel, I want to speak to you. It's Mandy McAuley from the BBC.

Why won't you speak to me? Do you remember telling us.... You saw me last week Mrs Dunkel. We secretly filmed you. We have been secretly filming you for a year. The police van drove Yonna Dunkel away. She and her husband, like Bobby Gonzales, face a maximum of two years in prison for animal cruelty. As for the Farmer's Boys, they too kept quiet when we approached them.

The USPCA and the Finnish authorities will be following up on our findings. We took Nipper over the Irish Sea just to be sure there wasn't anything to stop us. There wasn't. Then a drive to Liverpool to take the pit bull for a walk.

Afterwards we took him safely back to the Irish Republic, but while Nipper was on Merseyside he was just one of hundreds of the supposedly outlawed breed

walking the streets where Ellie Lawrenson died. Closed Captions by CSI