As figures show a rise in the number of animal cruelty cases over the last year there are calls from the RSPCA for judges to take a harsher stance against those who offend in this way.
The RSPCA is leading the fight against a growing animal cruelty crisis. Our staff, volunteers and branches show tremendous dedication but theyare struggling to keep up.
For us, prosecution is always the last resort. Our inspectors investigated 150,833 suspected cruelty cases and issued 78,090 advice notices last year - these are extremely effective in improving the care of animals.
However if there is evidence of a crime and serious animal abuse then we will take legal action to protect the animals and prevent further abuse. We also want to see judges taking these offences far more seriously.
More top news
A challenge to the decision not to take further action against Sir Cliff Richard over alleged sex offences has been dismissed.
Barnsley's Leah Washington lost a leg in the incident and her boyfriend Joe Pugh was seriously injured.
The trial of the father and ex-husband of a Bradford woman for her alleged rape and murder in a so-called honour killing has opened.