YEP Says, April 21: RSPCA’s primary role is to halt rise in animal cruelty

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THE latest animal cruelty figures could not be more disturbing on a number of fronts. Not only does Leeds and West Yorkshire appear to have the highest concentration of incidents outside of London, but the significant increase in neglect cases reported to the RSPCA in the past year does not correspond with a comparable rise in the number of successful prosecutions.

THE latest animal cruelty figures could not be more disturbing on a number of fronts. Not only does Leeds and West Yorkshire appear to have the highest concentration of incidents outside of London, but the significant increase in neglect cases reported to the RSPCA in the past year does not correspond with a comparable rise in the number of successful prosecutions.

Yet, while the increase in the RSPCA’s workload can be attributed, in part, to growing public awareness about the need to alert the authorities when they spot a distressed animal or pet in an emaciated condition, it is clear that the charity needs to do far more to bring the perpetrators of such misery to justice.

Unless it signifies a ‘zero tolerance’ approach, and goes out of its way to persuade the courts to ban the worst offenders from owning animals for life, such horrific incidents are likely to recur.

However this will not happen if the RSPCA spends a disproportionate amount of time and money working as a political lobby organisation – it has incurred six-figure costs in the prosecution of hunts for relatively inconsequential breaches of the controversial legislation passed into law by Parliament a decade ago. Those who support the RSPCA do so because they want the perpetrators of abuse to be prosecuted, and this must remain the primary

purpose of the charity’s work.

Child’s play in the great outdoors

THERE is no question that children growing up today don’t enjoy the same freedoms as previous generations.

The increased traffic on our roads and the greater concerns of parents when it comes to safety mean that inquisitive minds can be blunted by endless hours indoors watching TV or playing video games.

It is why the likes of the Fun First Kids Club are so important. The Leeds group is all about giving children independence and the freedom to explore, with activities that will equip them with so many of the life skills they need to succeed. It also makes for endless childhood memories that will last a lifetime.

Bernard Kenny, the man who risked his own life to try and save MP Jo Cox, has died.

YEP Says: Bernard Kenny, a real national hero