RSPCA investigated nearly 5,000 cases of animal cruelty in Lancashire in 2017

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 9:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 10:13 am

Animal cruelty complaints investigated in the North of England were amongst the highest in the country with almost 5,000 cases investigated in Lancashire by the RSPCA in 2017.

The data released today as part of the RSPCA’s North Cruelty statistics 2018 revealed 4,770 complaints were investigated in 2017.

Whilst 141,760 complaints about animal welfare were investigated nationally by the animal welfare charity in 2017, in the north of England (including County Durham, Cumbria, East Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and West Yorkshire) a total of 41,023 complaints were looked into.

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Equine cruelty remains an ongoing issue with the RSPCA though and in Lancashire 484 complaints were made in 2017.

Across the north of England complaints fell from 5772 to 4,923, however, it remains an ongoing crisis and in response to the ongoing crisis the animal welfare charity has said it is focusing on the plight of horses and animal rescuers and welfare charities who struggle to cope.

The RSPCA’s inspectorate national equine co-ordinator Christine McNeil said: “We’ve been talking about the horse crisis for several years now, but the truth is the situation is just as severe today as when it started. Last year we took in more horses than we have in any of the past four years (980), and with our inspectors being called to rescue more and more every week, we are stretched to the limits.

McNeil added: “Up and down the country, horses are being found sick, or dumped liked rubbish, dying or dead. Distressingly, this is common and it’s a huge issue. We are constantly receiving calls to our cruelty line - on average 80 per day about horses alone - as well as messages every day on social media from very concerned and upset people asking for our help.”


The RSPCA currently has 928 horses currently in their care and respond to cases daily about equine abuse.

In Lancashire three ponies were caused to suffer, and a fourth and her foal also had their needs not met, after they were severely neglected by their owner.

One of the ponies, a 15-year- old grey stallion called ‘Tiddles’, had a wound that was ‘crawling with maggots’ and had to be put to sleep by a vet immediately.

RSPCA inspector Lyndsey Taylor said: “Tiddles had a large open wound on his side which was crawling with maggots.”

“His genitals were infected and he had sores in his mouth and nose and overgrown hooves.

“He really was in a shocking condition.”

Two grey mares, 10-year- old ‘Cara’ and four-year- old ‘Sapphire’, were also put to sleep as a result of the neglect.

Their previous owner was sentenced at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court in December last year after pleading guilty to three offences under the Animal Welfare Act. He was given a 12-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £100 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Sparkle and her foal, Pearl, have been placed in the care of World Horse Welfare with a new home expected in due course.

If you are concerned about an animal’s welfare, you can report it to the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.