England

RSPCA figures show animal cruelty rise in East Sussex and Kent

The RSPCA has announced a rise in animal cruelty convictions in Kent and East Sussex.

The number of people convicted in East Sussex rose from seven in 2011 to 17 in 2012.

And in Kent, 62 people were convicted in 2012 compared with 49 in the previous year.

Patrick Hamby, chief inspector for the RSPCA in Sussex, said the economy had led to several cases of animal neglect.

"Due to the economic situation we find ourselves in, it is getting costly to look after animals," he said. "Horses are particularly expensive."

Levels of animal cruelty in Surrey dropped, with the number of people convicted falling from 44 to 13. In West Sussex the numbers fell from 17 to 8.

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