Animal cruelty cases drop in region

ANIMAL cruelty cases have dropped in the East of England, it emerged today. Latest figures published by the RSPCA for the 2006 east region show a reduction in cases which were so serious they needed to be reported to the charity.

ANIMAL cruelty cases have dropped in the East of England, it emerged today.

Latest figures published by the RSPCA for the 2006 east region show a reduction in cases which were so serious they needed to be reported to the charity.

And in Suffolk and Norfolk there was also a drop in cases reported from 56 in 2005 to 43 in 2006.

However, Suzie Graham, RSPCA East Regional Manager said: “Although there are still many incidents of deliberate cruelty, there are many more cases of serious neglect, where animals have been left without food or veterinary treatment.


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“Neglect has always been the most common form of cruelty. But these cases defy belief. It's just so shocking to discover pet food in homes where animals literally starved to death waiting for their owners to open a packet or a tin.

“Animals depend totally on their owners to meet their day-to-day needs. Ignoring this basic responsibility has heart-breaking consequences.”

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East regional annual statistics published today show:

A 12.7pc decrease in cases serious enough to be submitted for prosecution (361 in 2006)

A 12pc increase in cautions to prevent offences being committed (149)

And A 16pc increase in prison sentences imposed (seven sentences)

In Suffolk and Norfolk 21 defendants were cautioned in 2006, the figure was 18 in 2005 and 60 defendants were reported compared with 77 in 2005. The number of convictions secured dropped from 118 in 2005 to 25 in 2006.

The RSPCA said it is seeing encouraging signs that the new Animal Welfare Act is having a significant impact with the number of prosecutions reducing.

RSPCA East Region Superintendent, Tim Wass, said: “Today's figures refer to last year and, although the new Animal Welfare Act is only a few months old, so far it seems to be working extremely well.

“Many front-line RSPCA inspectors are reporting that people are responding well to the new law, and increasingly we are able to help prevent animal suffering before it begins.”

Have you rescued an animal from neglect? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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