"Heartbreaking" figures reveal more animals suffered physical cruelty in South Yorkshire

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A rise in reports of animal beatings was recorded in South Yorkshire last year, new figures show.

Data from the RSPCA shows an increase in the number of reports of animals suffering physical cruelty across England and Wales.

It said the figures are "heartbreaking", and suggested the end of the coronavirus pandemic and the soaring cost of living as possible factors.

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Numbers from the charity show 457 incidents of animal beatings recorded in South Yorkshire last year – up from 394 in 2021 – a rise of 16 per cent.

457 incidents of animal beatings were recorded in South Yorkshire last year457 incidents of animal beatings were recorded in South Yorkshire last year
457 incidents of animal beatings were recorded in South Yorkshire last year

Across England and Wales, the RSPCA recorded 22 per cent more violent incidents in 2022 than the previous year, with the charity receiving 9,700 reports, or the equivalent of 26 per day.

The number peaked in August at 1,100, while 77 per cent of all complaints related to physical abuse.

More animals were also killed in suspicious circumstances, with 891 reports in 2022, up 15 per cent from 775 the year before.

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Dermot Murphy at the RSPCA, said: "Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale and rising. It is heartbreaking that we are seeing such sad 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 have created an animal welfare crisis with more people getting pets with potentially less time and money to care for them.

"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."

The RSPCA has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign to address the rising figures.

Mr Murphy added: "Together, we believe we can and will cancel out cruelty to animals by replacing violence with kindness.

"We are urging people to donate to our Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, every donation will help animals."