A South Yorkshire MP is urging members of the public to report cases of animal cruelty after new figures revealed a rise in the problem.
Incidents of animal cruelty in the county rose by eight per cent from 4, 466 in 2015 to 4,806 last year, according to the latest figures from the RSPCA.
In addition, the number of calls to the animal charity’s cruelty line also rose by almost four per cent - averaging one call every 27 seconds.
The RSPCA said the increase was saddening, but reflected the fact that more people were determined to report cases of animal cruelty.
Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher is now urging residents to make sure they report cruelty cases.
The Labour politician said: "These latest figures show that animal cruelty still remains a problem in Barnsley and across South Yorkshire.
"But it’s heartening that more people are less willing to stand by and will report allegations of animal cruelty to the RSPCA.
"I would urge anyone who thinks an animal is suffering to call the RSPCA’s cruelty line and help tackle this distressing problem and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
People can report cruelty towards an animal to the RSPCA by calling the charity’s 24-hour hotline on 0300 1234 999.