RSPCA fears spike in animal cruelty in Hampshire over second coronavirus lockdown

ANIMALS face being hunted, beaten and mutilated during the second coronavirus lockdown, a charity fears.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 4:43 pm
Updated Friday, 6th November 2020, 4:44 pm

The RSPCA is concerned that as the United Kingdom goes into another lockdown, people’s search for entertainment could lead to animals being harmed.

It comes after intentional harm and illegal activity towards animals spiked during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

In Hampshire, there have been 28 instances of intentional harm this year, with 58 animal-related offences overall.

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Nationally, 2,237 offences have been committed.

RSPCA’s national wildlife co-ordinator, Geoff Edmond, said: ‘Our data shows that reports of cruelty to wildlife surged during the first lockdown.

‘We fear a similar peak could happen all over again during this second lockdown, as some people again look for savage ways to pass the time.

‘Our inspectors see first-hand the suffering inflicted by criminals on animals through wildlife crime such as badger baiting, dog fighting, hare coursing and trapping birds. We have seen some particularly distressing incidents in recent months, such as a magpie shot with a crossbow and two hedgehogs doused in fuel and burned alive.

‘There is no place for cruelty to animals in today’s society and we urge anyone who spots anything suspicious when out on their daily exercise or sees anything online to report it to the RSPCA’s cruelty line or their local police force.’

A few days ago in Wales, a man was sentenced to prison for extreme cruelty to a hedgehog.

The man had cut off the little animal’s legs, had burned it and covered its head and eyes with molten candle wax.

To report incidents to the RSPCA, people can call 0300 123 4999.

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