Animal cruelty convictions in Lancashire are bucking the North of England trend, falling by 56.6 per cent in a year.
An RSPCA report out today shows that in 2012, 46 people were convicted for 159 offences in the county, but last year that number fell to 34 people convicted for 69 offences.
In comparison, in the north of England region, the number was up 6.6 per cent at 566 offences in 2013 compared to 531 in 2012, whereas across England and Wales the number of people convicted decreased 11.7 per cent from 1,552 to 1,371.
One Lancashire case highlighted was of eight horses neglected by their owners despite repeated advice.
Due to poor grazing, worms and poor body condition, one had to be put to sleep, three were rehomed by the RSPCA and the others were taken in by World Horse Welfare.
A man and woman from Thornton admitted four allegations under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. They were both banned from keeping horses for 10 years. The woman was given an 18 month supervision order and the man was given a 12 month supervision order with 150 hours of unpaid work. They were also ordered to pay £1,000 costs each.
RSPCA regional manager Mike Hogg said it is unclear why figures are generally higher in the north of England.
He said: “We have a large number of big cities in the region where greater numbers of people typically live. There also tend to be greater levels of poverty and education in these places. Another factor could be that people living in the North are more likely to call the RSPCA if they see something they don’t think is right.”
In the North of England, the RSPCA investigated 1,763 more complaints in 2013 than in 2012.