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.
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The Met Office issue wind and rain warnings for the region for the next 24-48 hours
Dry but cloudy overnight.
Christmas Eve which could be rather frosty and Christmas Day looks like being generally cold and dry, but cloudier further east