Concern over rise in cat cruelty in Scotland

Image caption The number of cats in Scotland being mistreated has risen according to SPCA

An animal welfare charity has urged the public to help halt the "worrying trend" of cat cruelty incidents.

Scottish SPCA statistics indicated that poisonings had risen by 45% in three years, with air rifles attacks also up.

In 2007 it said there were 19 cases of suspected cat poisoning rising to 34 in 2009. So far this year, the charity said it had responded to 29 reports.

Ch Supt Mike Flynn said: "We need the public to be our eyes and ears and help us track these cruel people down."

He said cats were singled out as easy targets because they roamed freely and would approach people who may want to harm them.

He added: "Some instances of cat poisoning may well be a result of the animal accidentally consuming a toxic substance such as rodent poison or anti-freeze, but the increasing frequency of these incidents would suggest that there may be an element of intentional cruelty involved."

The number of cats being rescued by the charity has increased by more than 20% in the last two years to 2,504.

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