By Joshua Robinson –
The latest figures from the RSPCA show an increase in intentional cruelty against animals, including 1,520 reports in Yorkshire last year – a rise of 23% compared to 2021.
Overall, the number of reports made nationally to the charity’s cruelty line about intentional harm to animals – including beatings, mutilations such as ear cropping, poisonings, and even killings – has increased by 14%, with 12,582 reported last year compared to 11,012 reports in 2021.
In Yorkshire, 1,520 reports of intentional harm against animals were made to the RSPCA last year, compared to 1,229 in 2021.
By county, this is broken down as follows:
159 reports in East Yorkshire (139 in 2021)
241 in North Yorkshire (210 in 2021)
457 in South Yorkshire (394 in 2021)
663 in West Yorkshire (486 in 2021)
Cancel Out Cruelty
As a result, the RSPCA is bracing for one of its busiest summers this year as it expects another summer of suffering, with more people reporting cruelty to animals from July to September.
The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse and to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good.
The national figures, exclusively released today by the RSPCA, show:
- In 2022 the charity saw a 22% increase in reports of beatings (9,658 in 2022, compared to 7,857 in 2021), that’s 26 every day.
The number of beatings reported to the RSPCA in 2022 peaked in August when 1,081 reports were received – a staggering 35 a day
The number of animals killed in ‘suspicious circumstances’ increased in 2022 by 15% from 2021 (891 in 2022, compared to 775 in 2021)
77% of all cruelty complaints reported to the charity in 2022 were beatings
Claire Mitchell, an RSPCA inspector for North and East Yorkshire, said: “Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale and rising. And sadly, the number of cruelty incidents in East Yorkshire is also too high. It is heartbreaking that we are seeing figures which show animal cruelty is, very sadly, on the rise.”
“While we don’t know for certain why there has been an increase in reports of cruelty, the cost of living crisis and the post-pandemic world we live in has created an animal welfare crisis with more people getting pets with potentially less time and money to care for them.”
Mitchell said: “Each year, these reports of cruelty reach their terrible annual peak in the summer months – when nationally we receive a report of an animal being beaten on average every hour of every day.”
“The cost-of-living crisis also means the cost of rescuing animals is at an all-time high, and our vital services are stretched to the limit.”
It is unknown why reports of animal cruelty peak in the summer months, although factors like animal abuse being more visible as people are outdoors more could be one factor.
The RSPCA is the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty in England and Wales, with a team of frontline rescue officers, specialist vet teams, and a network of animal care centres and 140 branches providing rehabilitation to animal victims.
Mitchell added: “Together, we can and will eliminate animal cruelty by replacing violence with kindness. We urge people to donate to our Cancel Out Cruelty campaign; every donation will help animals.”
As the only charity in England and Wales investigating cruelty and rescuing animals, the RSPCA needs support to stay out on the frontline, and this can be done through donations:
£2 could help to provide a meal for a cat or dog in our care
£6 could help pay to feed a dog for a day in our care
£10 could help pay towards bandages for a cat or dog
£15 could help pay for a cat or dog’s clinical exam
£20 could help pay for a bird-catching kit
£30 could help pay for a life jacket for an inspector
£100 could help pay for water rescue equipment
£500 could kit out a 4×4 inspector van
The RSPCA’s frontline teams are working hard to rescue needy animals this summer. To help support the RSPCA, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/stopcruelty