RSPCA: Animal cruelty growing but 100% conviction rate

Dog This dog was one of those involved in the 297 convictions last year

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The RSPCA has had a 100% success rate for its prosecutions after facing a "growing animal cruelty crisis".

The animal charity said there were 297 convictions last year in Wales, a rise of 20%, following an increase in the number of animal welfare cases reported.

RSPCA Cymru's Steve Carter said workers faced "immense demands".

The charity said the economic downturn was probably still partly to blame with some people unable to look after pets.

The 100% conviction rate was up from 97.8%.

Mr Carter said it demonstrated "how robust our investigative process is".

The number of animals rescued or collected also more than doubled, which the charity says is more positive.

Other figures reported for 2013:

  • There was a 14% rise in the number of cases reported (199, compared to 174 in 2012)
  • A 10% rise in the number of people reported (318, up from 288)
  • A 20% rise in the total number of convictions across Wales (297, from 248)
  • A 50% increase in the number of offenders cautioned (91, up from 61)
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NEGLECT AND CRUELTY CASE STUDIES
Horses at Pencarth Uchaf Farm These horses were kept in 'appalling conditions' the RSPCA said

HORSE SUFFERING: A Gwynedd horse breeder allowed his ponies to suffer so much that nine had to be put down.

Evan Lloyd Evans, 69, was jailed for 10 weeks after being found guilty of multiple animal welfare offences in October 2013.

The conditions the horses were kept in were described as "appalling and completely inappropriate".

EMACIATED DOGS: In another case, a married couple from Pembrokeshire were banned from keeping dogs for five years after their dogs were found to be so emaciated that one of them - a lurcher - weighed less than a cat.

Ginger cat This cat which had fleas is now doing 'fantastically well'

CATS LEFT TO BREED: A mother and daughter from Wrexham who neglected 17 cats in their care were disqualified from keeping all animals indefinitely. The family had left the cats to breed uncontrollably with only one of their cats being neutered. Several, including the two kittens, had to be put to sleep because of their serious health issues. Both women were given community orders.

'WORST' FLEA INFESTATION: A suspended sentence and life ban were given to a Pontypridd man, 55, who had a cat with the worst flea infestation the vet had ever seen.

The cat, which was found living in squalid conditions in an upstairs bedroom, recovered. The man had previously been prosecuted by the RSPCA regarding two of his dogs.

Source: RSPCA

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The RSPCA believes the economic downturn could still be playing in part in the increase in cases reported to it, where people are unable to look after pets which in some cases leads to neglect.

The charity said social media was also playing a part in raising the profile of the charity's work.

"We are getting people reporting cases on Twitter but we'd really encourage them to contact our helpline as the first port of call, and those messages we receive on social media we refer on to there," said a spokesman.

Mr Carter said the rise in cautions reflected how the charity had tried to work with people to educate them.

"However, where there is evidence of a crime and serious animal abuse then we will take legal action to protect the animals and prevent further abuse. We also want to see courts taking these offences far more seriously," he said.

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