The Express report:

THE RSPCA last night revealed a huge rise in successful convictions for animal cruelty but campaigners fear the charity is “becoming increasingly militant” in the way it uses secret police files to check suspects’ backgrounds.

RSPCA figures show that dogs are the most abused animal

Figures show the RSPCA last year secured 4,168 animal welfare and cruelty convictions with a 97.9 per cent success rate; up from 2,441 three years ago.

Dogs were the most abused animals followed by cats, horses and small mammals. The Society’s inspectors also smashed badger-baiting and cock-fighting gangs and caught criminals trapping protected wild birds.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.