OPINION: Cruelty must be stopped

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It is difficult to believe that people can be cruel or neglectful to animals.

But figures from the RSPCA released today show the true horror of the abuse of animals across the country.

National figures reveal dogs are still the animal most likely to be involved in cruelty cases, with 2,505 related convictions.

But, overall, prosecutions in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire were down from the previous year.

RSPCA chief David Bowles said although the numbers of convictions had decreased in most areas, there is still ‘a culture of cruelty’.

Surely one case of cruelty is too many.

The RSPCA does a good job but needs resources, which may mean people have to dig a little deeper for their collection boxes.

Are we being vigilant enough and reporting cases where we think abuse may be happening?

Is enough education taking place before people are given the responsibility of looking after a pet.

There’s a fine line between neglect and abuse and neither is acceptable.

And finally are the punishments from the courts severe enough to act as a deterrent?

In a civilised society there is no excuse for being cruel to animals. It needs to stop immediately.