Animal cruelty figures on the rise

RSPCA
RSPCA

Less than half of the people reported for animal cruelty in Lancashire last year were convicted.

New figures released by the RSPCA have revealed 139 people were reported for cruelty and neglect to animals in the county during 2011, but only 60 were found guilty.

However, the number of people convicted rose by 12% in the north of England and nearly 25% across England and Wales last year.

Cases highlighted ahead of the animal welfare charity’s fund-raising push, RSPCA Week 2012, include a dog that was repeatedly stabbed with a potato peeler and another which ate her dead friend to survive after being abandoned in a flat.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “We need the courts and councils, police and people who care to join us in standing up and getting justice for Britain’s abused animals.

“The RSPCA faces a crisis that is stretching us to breaking point.

“We show zero tolerance to animal abusers. Anyone causing animals pain for profit or pleasure will be tracked down and prosecuted.”

In the north of England there were 458 disqualifications for keeping animals imposed by courts compared to 415 in 2010, a 10.3% rise, and 22 prison sentences imposed by courts compared to 19 in 2010, a 15.7% rise.

The RSPCA said 529 people were convicted for cruelty and neglect in the region compared to 471 in 2010, a rise of 12.3%.

It said the north remained the area with the biggest number of animal cruelty cases, but that a greater increase had been seen elsewhere across England and Wales.

Mike Hogg, North regional manager, said: “The RSPCA strives to keep animals with their owners wherever possible and offers advice on improving their welfare.

“Overwhelmingly, this advice is followed, but where it isn’t, or where someone has already harmed an animal, there has to be a way of ensuring that animals are not left to suffer.

“We can’t do this without the help and support of the public.”

RSPCA Week runs from April 30 to May 6.

To find out more about how to get involved, visit www.rspcaweek.org.