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RSPCA cruelty statistics for 2011


12:00am 24th April 2012

The number of people convicted for cruelty and neglect to animals rose by nearly a quarter in England and Wales last year, according to figures announced by the RSPCA today (Tuesday 24th April 2012).
Cases being highlighted ahead of the charity's major fundraising push, RSPCA Week 2012, include a dog repeatedly stabbed with a potato peeler, a collapsed and emaciated dog dumped on Christmas Day morning and a dog which ate her dead mate to survive after being abandoned in a flat.
As well as a rise in those convicted under the Animal Welfare Act and other legislation, bans on keeping animals also increased in 2011, along with the number of prison sentences imposed for animal cruelty.  
Across England and Wales, the RSPCA's latest figures reveal:

  • 23.5 % rise in the number of people convicted for cruelty &  neglect   (1,341 in 2011)
  • 22 % rise in the convictions relating to cruelty to dogs   (2,105 in 2011)
  • 21 % increase in disqualifications on keeping animals imposed by courts   (1,100 in 2011)
  • 27 % rise in prison sentences imposed by courts   (74 in 2011)
  • 9.3 % increase in the numbers of people reported to the RSPCA prosecutions department   (3,036 in 2011)

13 % rise in the number of phone calls received by the RSPCA at the charity's control room in South Yorkshire (1,314,795 in 2011)
In the North of England:

  • 529 people were convicted for cruelty and neglect compared to 471 in 2010 - a rise of 12.3%
  • 728 convictions relating to cruelty to dogs compared to 800 in 2010 - a decrease of 9%
  • 458 disqualifications for keeping animals imposed by courts compared to 415 in 2010 - a 10.3% rise
  • 22 prison sentences imposed by courts compared to 19 in 2010 - a 15.7% rise
  • 1,069 people reported to the RSPCA prosecutions department compared to 1,127 in 2010 - a decrease of 5.2%

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said

"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.
"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."
North Yorkshire Case Study
A Leyburn man who filmed two dogs being set upon a snared fox was jailed for 16 weeks by Northallerton Magistrates Court in March 2011.
The fox, which was confined in a yard, had a snare around it, meaning that it didn't stand a chance against the two dogs and two men who backed it into a corner, forcing it to fight for its life. The whole thing was filmed on a mobile phone.
RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent described the footage as the 'most horrific' he had ever seen.

He said:

"All the time you can hear him and another man urging the dogs on and laughing. One of them even pins the fox down, giving the dogs more of an advantage.

"The ordeal goes on for several minutes until eventually the fox is so weak it can't defend itself anymore."
The footage came to light after the man's phone was confiscated by police for another reason and contacted the RSPCA.
Chief inspector Gent added:

"These men could have killed this fox whenever they wanted but they prolonged its suffering for their pleasure. They even captured it on camera so they could replay it over and over to themselves."
Although the dogs in the film were never traced, the defendant was banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.
To see further footage of RSPCA cases in North Yorkshire, download the link: http://bit.ly/JhcdIl

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