Latest crime figures from the RSPCA have revealed the number of people prosecuted for animal cruelty charges has gone down in Herts.
In 2013, 14 people were convicted for charges relating to animal cruelty, which had gone down by nine from 23 people in 2012.
The people prosecuted in many cases had more than one charge, and last year’s total number of convictions was 34. The number had almost halved from the previous year, when the total was 60.
Across the whole of the south east and eastern regions, almost 300 people received convictions in 2013 – with the shocking cases ranging from a bull terrier being scalded with boiling water, to a mouse being tortured with a power tool.
Nationally, there were 1,371people convicted, down from 1,552 in 2012.
Despite what appear to be encouraging figures, the reduction in convictions does not seem to reflect a decline in the number of instances of animal cruelty.
The number of calls made to the RSPCA across the UK increased from 1,163,428 in 2012 to 1,327,849 in 2013 – its highest volume of calls ever.
These included 153,770 complaints of cruelty which had to be investigated by RSPCA inspectors, an increase of almost 3,000 from 2012.
RSPCA superintendent for the region Paul Stilgoe said: “The UK is known as a nation of animal-lovers and yet once again we have seen some truly heartbreaking sights this year, and animals suffering in horrific ways.
“It is heartening that there has not been a rise in the number of defendants convicted this year, but we are still seeing far too many horrendous cases of cruelty.”