TWO men from Kirklees have been named after four pit bull terriers were seized by police.

The pair, believed to be John Powney, 37, from Liversedge, and Lee Hanson, 27, from Heckmondwike were led away by police after raids in which four dogs were seized.

Both were named by the News of the World as part of an investigation by the paper into the sale of dangerous dogs.

It said Powney offered undercover reporters a pit bull called Arnie in a Huddersfield car park and that Hanson showed its reporters dogs caged in a bathroom.

The newspaper said it tipped off West Yorkshire Police and officers wearing riot gear searched Powney's home before leading him away.

West Yorkshire Police say they believe the dogs to be pit bull terriers.

The two men have been reported for summons for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act and will appear before magistrates in Dewsbury at a date to be fixed.

Police have released photographs of the dogs they seized - one of them is a puppy.

The action follows a number of incidents in which dogs in other areas have attacked people, including five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson, who was mauled to death by a family pet in Merseyside.

The youngster was attacked by a pit bull- type terrier while staying at her grandmother's home in St Helens on New Year's Day.

Kirklees commander Chief Supt Barry South said: "While the majority of dogs are kept as genuine pets, we accept there are some dogs out there that cause concern to the community and these dogs are sometimes being bred or kept illegally.

"We would stress that it is only a minority of dogs involved, but if people do have concerns they should contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 0845 6060606."

Dogs banned under the Act are the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

It is an offence to own or keep any of these dogs unless the owners register them on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

It is an offence to breed from, sell or exchange such a dog - even as a gift - irrespective of whether it has been placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

Chief Supt South added: "It is important to note that in the UK dangerous dogs are classified by type, not by breed label.

"This means that whether a dog is considered dangerous, and therefore prohibited, will depend on a judgement about its physical characteristics and whether they match the description of a prohibited type.

"This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court."