30 July 2008

RSPCA - UK - Cruelty on the rise

Rise in dog cruelty convictions

Staffordshire bull terrier Saffron
A London couple cut the ears off this dog to make it look more macho

Convictions for cruelty against dogs rose by more than a third last year, the RSPCA has said.

A Staffordshire bull terrier whose owners cut its ears off to make it look more macho is included in the charity's annual cruelty report.

It highlights a 12% increase in all RSPCA cruelty investigations leading to 1,149 convictions.

But new powers introduced in 2007 mean the increase may not represent higher levels of actual cruelty.

Tim Wass, chief officer of the RSPCA Inspectorate, said dogs had always borne the brunt of animal cruelty.

"That's what makes this year's horrendous 34% increase even more shocking: it's a massive increase on an already high figure," he said.

One case highlighted in the report was the 2007 conviction of Abishai Hayes, 22, of Holloway, north London, who admitted torturing his 10-month-old dog.

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