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Rates of animal cruelty on the increase in austere times says Criminal Law Solicitor Peter Mitchell

The number of convictions for animal neglect and cruelty in cases brought by the RSPCA has risen by around a third in the previous 12 months in England and Wales.

As criminal law solicitors working with the RSPCA on prosecutions for animal neglect and cruelty, here at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors we have seen first-hand the effects of what RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant has called “a growing animal cruelty crisis”.


Data from the RSPCA’s own annual prosecutions report shows that offences against animals rose from 3,114 in 2011 too 4,168 in 2012. The number of people taken to court by the RSPCA in the same period has also increased, from 1,341 to 1,552, a total increase of nearly 16%. Speaking about the RSPCA’s strategy for dealing with animal cruelty Mr Grant said:


"For us, prosecution is always the last resort. Our inspectors investigated 150,833 suspected cruelty cases and issued 78,090 advice notices last year - these are extremely effective in improving the care of animals. However, if there is evidence of a crime and serious animal abuse then we will take legal action to protect the animals and prevent further abuse.”


Here at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors in Liverpool, our criminal law solicitors have been working on behalf of the RSPCA for some time, bringing those responsible for cruelty to animals to account for their actions. Solicitor and Head of Criminal Law, Peter Mitchell made his own comments on the rising number of cases of animal cruelty he had dealt with and how financial pressures may be one of the contributing factors:


“We live in difficult economic times, but people should remember that their pets don't have a say in the matter. If you do run into difficulties caring for your pets, then there are agencies that can help, such as the RSPCA or the PDSA. They can give practical advice and if needs be re-homing of unwanted pets free of charge.”


Criminal Law Solicitors at Canter Levin & Berg


As well as dealing with private prosecutions for organisations such as the RSPCA, at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors we can provide you with professional legal advice if you are facing an allegation of criminal conduct. We believe it is essential that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity, regardless of offence you are accused of committing. As such we operate a 24 hour on call legal service for criminal law matters across Merseyside.

By Peter Mitchell