Posted: Wed 29th Mar 2017

Animal cruelty cases on the rise in Flintshire latest RSPCA figures reveal

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 29th, 2017

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Latest released by the RSPCA show Flintshire had the greatest number of cruelty cases in North Wales in 2016.

The charity investigated 528 complaints of abuse and neglect in the county last year, a rise of 7% on 2015, the majority involving dogs.

Across all Wales the RSPCA investigated 10,540 complaints of cruelty in Wales – equating to almost 29 every single day.

The number of complaints investigated in 2016 increased by 6.5%, having stood at 9,895 in the previous year.

Prosecutions up

There is some good news amongst the grim number, more successful animal welfare prosecutions were secured by RSPCA Cymru in 2016 than in each of the previous two calendar years – with a “catalogue of cruelty” brought before court rooms across the country.

RSPCA Cymru is calling on the public to support the introduction of an Offender Register for those who have been convicted of animal abuse and disqualified from keeping them, to act as a further deterrent to many of the horrendous acts committed across Wales.

It is also supporting tougher sentences for acts of severe animal cruelty.

In total, over 2016, 120 convictions were secured in magistrates’ courts – compared to 89 in 2015, and 116 in 2014.

These 120 convictions relate to a total of 61 defendants, which – again – marked the highest number in Wales for a three-year period.

A further 67 offenders were also cautioned by the charity in 2016.

Martyn Hubbard, RSPCA Cymru Superintendent, said:

Each and every year, I am left deeply saddened and appalled at the level of animal abuse, neglect and cruelty we witness all across Wales.

Once again, 2016 highlighted the huge importance of the frontline work of RSPCA, with a series of very diverse convictions secured in court, concerning a catalogue of cruelty.

It was a busy year in terms of necessary prosecutions activity – with more convictions secured than in the previous two calendar years.

This doesn’t suggest more cruelty is necessarily taking place – but that people in Wales are potentially more likely to report it, and tools like social media becoming more adept in bringing incidences to light. Clearly, however, big challenges remain in protecting the nation’s animals.

In Wales, the introduction of an Offender Register is an idea which attracts a strong level of public support – with an incredible 88% backing the proposal.

This follows calls from the charity to increase the maximum sentence available in England and Wales for animal abuse – at present, six months in prison.

In Northern Ireland, the maximum sentence is ten times higher – standing at five years.

It is hoped a register of offenders will help deter cruelty offences, and better protect animals from falling victim to an individual who has already been disqualified from keeping them.

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