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