AN ANIMAL charity in North Somerset says more donations are needed to help stem the ‘rising tide’ of cruelty cases.

The RSPCA found that cruelty to animals rose almost 34 per cent across the UK in 2012, including a group of teenage boys who tortured a chicken to death in Portishead.

The number of prosecutions for cruelty rose 15.7 per cent in England and Wales, while the number of animals rescued increased by almost 10 per cent.

Convictions for cruelty to small animals such as hamsters and rabbits rose 265 per cent, while farm-related animal cruelty prosecutions jumped up 123 per cent, with a similar increase for equine animals.

In January last year, three boys from North Somerset pleaded guilty to cruelty to a chicken called Crombie. They stole the bird from a farm before torturing and killing it.

Two boys aged 16 and one aged 17 were given referral orders and made to pay £450 in fines after they broke into a chicken run and forced the bird into a satchel.

 They then punched the chicken in the head, grabbed it by its wings and one reportedly boasted about pulling its head off on a mobile phone recording.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “We are leading the fight against a growing animal cruelty crisis. Our staff, volunteers and branches show tremendous dedication but they are struggling to keep up.

“More animals need our help than ever before and I urge everyone to dig deep and give us as much support as you can.

“Now more than ever we need all animal lovers to stand up against a rising tide of animal cruelty. We can’t do it without you.”

To donate, text Week to 78866 to give £3, call 0300 1238181 or go to

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