RSPCA animal cruelty convictions up by a third in 2012
A report by the RSCPA shows the number of convictions for animal neglect and cruelty in cases brought by the charity rose by a third in England and Wales in 2012.
The annual prosecutions report shows offences rose from 3,114 in 2011 to 4,168 in 2012.
Some 1,552 people were taken to court, up from 1,341 - an increase of 15.7%.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant called the situation "a growing animal cruelty crisis" and urged judges to take "offences far more seriously".
Jeremy Cooke reports.