Positive Environment News

Animal Cruelty in Britain on the Rise

Date: 27-Jul-06
Country: UK

The animal charity said their inspectors had also seen an alarming increase in neglect and mistreatment of pets.

"2005 will go down as one of the most violent towards animals," said Jackie Bullard, RSPCA director general.

The charity said the number of convictions secured for animal cruelty had risen by 20 percent while there had been a 6 percent rise in the number of cases reported and investigated.

In addition, the number of animals that did not have access to water had increased by 104 percent to 25,784 while almost 35,000 did not receive suitable veterinary treatment, a rise of almost 80 percent.

There are about 13 million pets in Britain with just over 50 percent of households owning one.

The RSPCA said neglect was the common cause in most cases and had led to one of their largest ever probes involving 271 animals -- mainly dogs -- kept in a small property in Lancashire.

"Sadly, despite our best efforts, there are those who continue to ignore our messages and treat animals with brute force instead of compassion," Ballard said.

In one of the most horrific cases last year, Holly Thacker, 34, from Norwich was jailed for putting her cat Fluffy into her washing machine on boil wash.

Fluffy lost all her claws trying to escape and would have suffered for up to 10 minutes before dying.

"In the seven years I have been working for the RSPCA I have never come across anything as heartless as this," said inspector Rob Melloy after the case went to court.

In another incident, Griffith Prosser, 36, was banned from owning pets for 10 years after the RSPCA found he had sawn off the front leg of his dog Bumper who had been injured in a car crash.

Other cases included a man jailed for cutting the throats of his two pet dogs, a 17-year-old youth who kicked his puppy to death and a dog hung from a top floor balcony by his back legs because his owner said it would improve his pet's fitness.

© Thomson Reuters 2006 All rights reserved

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