Aberdeen MP voices concern over level of North-east animal cruelty cases

Concerns have been raised about the level of animal cruelty cases in the North-east.

Between 2012/13 and 2016/17, Police Scotland recorded 87 cases of cruelty across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire – solving almost half of them.

The figures, released under Freedom of Information, reveal Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire saw 65 recorded instances of harm to dogs since 2012.

In 2016/17 a total of eight crimes of cruelty to dogs were recorded in Aberdeen, with four in Aberdeenshire.

Meanwhile, a total of 31 instances of harm against dogs were solved in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in the past five years.

These have remained at a fairly steady level in the city with seven crimes committed in 2014/15, seven in 2015/16 and eight in the most recent financial year.

Aberdeenshire saw seven of eight livestock offences occur in the last two years, 2015/16 and in 2016/17, with just one occurring in 2013/14 and no crimes being committed in 2014/15.

Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson said the consistently high number of attacks against dogs in the city does not represent his “friendly city”.

He added: “As a dog owner I find it reprehensible that anyone could mistreat their pets.

“This is not a crime that is particular to the city of Aberdeen, but its predominance here and in Aberdeenshire is startling.

“I have raised the issue of dogs being imported to the UK illegally and I would beg anyone considering an offer via online retailers – don’t.”

Police Scotland’s data controller said the police in Scotland “have the power to arrest an individual where there is sufficient evidence to support a charge against them, either for a common law crime or for a statutory offence where the statute empowers the police to arrest any person contravening its provisions”.

However, not all offences result in arrests, with the decision to convict taken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.