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RSPCA Cymru reveal intentional harm increase in Wales

03 Jul 2023 3 minute read
The incident was caught on camera and issued as part of a press appeal

Heartbreaking figures released by RSPCA Cymru have shown reports of intentional harm has risen by 9% – with incidents peaking during the summer months.

As a result, the animal charity is bracing for one of its busiest summers this year as it expects another summer of suffering, with more people reporting cruelty to animals from July to September.

The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse and to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good.

The figures, exclusively released today by the RSPCA shows:

  • Calls relating to international harm in Wales over the past three years have increased from 691 (2021) to 753 last year (2022) – a 9% increase.
  • The total number of complaints of alleged cruelty (all animals) in 2022 across Wales was 5,632.
  • In July, August and September calls about international harm were at its highest with 73 in July, 83 in August and 82 in September.
  • The three highest counties for intentional harm calls were Swansea (62), Cardiff (61) and Rhondda Cynon Taf (59).
  • The most calls in a north Wales county was Flintshire with 54.

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA inspectorate commissioner, 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 has created an animal welfare crisis with more people getting pets with potentially less time and money to care for them.

“Each year, these reports of cruelty reach its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when we receive a report of an animal being beaten on average every hour of every day.

“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.”


It is not known why reports of animal cruelty peak in the summer months although factors like animal abuse being more visible as people are outdoors more, could be one factor.

The RSPCA is the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty in Wales and England with a team of frontline rescue officers, specialist vet teams and a network of animal care centres and 140 branches providing rehabilitation to animal victims.

Dermot 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.”

Incidents of cruelty in Wales include a south Wales man was caught on CCTV abusing his German Shepherd last summer after footage showed him kicking the dog and hanging him from a fence with his lead.

Last month the RSPCA revealed a hedgehog was found alive but covered in blood with its intestines trailing out, in a bedroom drawer. Despite being rushed to a vet immediately, the hedgehog was sadly put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

When the mantra is hate they neighbour or the rest of humanity if you listen to Tory politicians it is hardly surprising that animals cop it…

The SHG for RSPCA Problems

Yet again the RSPCA is claiming that reports are evidence of increased cruelty and using the odd case they prosecute to highlight their claims. Reports are not proof of anything. We do not have a system of Guilt on Accusation in this country. Reports can be malicious, neighbours escalating a dispute, embittered ex’s acting out of spite, or even people who simply misunderstand what they are seeing. Add to that the fact that the more people are told that they can report people the more likely they are to do so, so even if reports have risen they. might not indicate… Read more »

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