'Shocking' animal neglect

The RSPCA has revealed a "shocking catalogue of deliberate cruelty and neglect" to animals. Convictions for animal neglect has risen by nearly 40% in the last year, the charity aid.

RSPCA: 'Additional problems' from economic crisis

James Yeates. the RSPCA's Chief Veterinary Officer. said the economic crisis has caused "additional problems for animals". He said:

There remains a body, even in this country where people really love animals, who think it's acceptable to beat, to maim, to fight, to neglect, to just not give the love and attention, or enjoy being cruel to these animals.

Number of animals rescued has risen by nearly 10%

The RSPCA has described the "shocking catalogue" of animal cruelty and neglect last year, including a dog being slashed with a knife by his owner and two tiny puppies buried alive.

New figures released by the charity today show an increase in cruelty to animals in the last year:

  • Successful prosecutions relating to cruelty to small mammals such as rabbits and hamsters rose from 97 in 2011 to 354 in 2012, while convictions linked to the treatment of farm animals rose from 22 to 49 in the same period
  • The number of convictions relating to the treatment of equine animals, such as horses, ponies and donkeys, rose from 230 in 2011 to 500 last year
  • Animals rescued or collected by the RSPCA increased by 9.7% from 119,126 to 130,695
  • The animal welfare group also helped rescue 64,000 farmed chickens from a flooded barn
  • They also found more than 30 rabbits and guinea pigs living amongst dead animals in slurry-filled hutches and an emaciated pony pinned to the ground by his tether

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RSPCA: Prosecution is 'always a last resort'

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said prosecution for animal cruelty is "always a last resort".

Figures released by the charity today showed the levels of neglect, which has risen by a third in England and Wales. He said:

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.

RSPCA reveals 'shocking catalogue' of animal cruelty

The RSPCA has revealed a "shocking catalogue of deliberate cruelty and neglect" to animals in the last year.

Convictions for animal neglect has risen by nearly 40% up from 3,114 in 2011 to 4,168 last year, the RSPCA's annual prosecutions report states.

Rescued Boxer Mac at RSPCA Centre Newbrook Farm, Frankley Birmingham Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The charity said there was also a 15.7% increase in the number of defendants convicted, with the number of those found guilty of offences rising to 1,552 in 2012 from 1,341 a year earlier.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant called on judges to take these offences "far more seriously", he added that his staff was "struggling to keep up" in their fight against animal cruelty.