West Yorkshire worst for animal cruelty in northern England

More people were convicted of animal cruelty in West Yorkshire last year than in other north of England counties, the RSPCA has said.

The charity said 82 people were convicted of harming animals in the county.

County Durham had the second highest figure in the north, with 69 people being convicted in 2011.

Mike Hogg, regional manager, said: "We have seen an increase in blatant acts of cruelty across the region."

He added: "We can never really get to the bottom of why the figures have gone up.

"A lot of it is down to people's misunderstandings of what the needs of an animal are before they get one. There is ignorance also involved."

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