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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Animal cruelty on increase
Animal cruelty is on the increase
Cruelty to animals is on the increase

Horrifying acts of cruelty inflicted on animals in the Yorkshire and Humber area have seen the region identified as the worst place for animal abuse in England.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) prosecuted nearly 200 cases of abuse after animals had been shot, stabbed, starved and deliberately tortured.

The number of cases involving violence to animals which resulted in prison sentences rose from 46 in 2001 to 57 in 2002.

The emergence of so-called "squish videos" which feature small animals being slowly and deliberately crushed to death has worried the RSPCA.

Inspectors working across the region have investigated 18,546 complaints, rescued 677 animals, collected 20,860 animals and prosecuted 194 cruelty cases and achieved 456 convictions last year.

Man jailed

Cases in Yorkshire included a 30-year-old from Doncaster who was jailed after stabbing his brother's whippet and a Halifax man who threw a cat to its death from a seventh-floor flat.

While a West Yorkshire couple who thought a sticking plaster would repair a cat's shattered leg after the animal was hit by a car.

In East Yorkshire a dog was found in a pen on a farm in Gribthorpe collapsed and emaciated from lack of food.

David Millard of the RSPCA said: "Every year we deal with cases that shock, but never before have we seen such a catalogue of horrifying and vicious acts of deliberate cruelty and torture towards defenceless animals."

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