HEARTBREAKING figures from the RSPCA show an alarming increase in cruelty against animals across the country, but while more than 20 incidents were reported on the Isle of Wight last year, this was down on the previous year.

Data from the RSPCA shows an increase in the number of reports of animals suffering physical cruelty across England and Wales.

However, fewer reports of animal beatings were recorded on the Isle of Wight, compared to 2021.

On the Isle of Wight, there were 21 reports of intentional harm against animals made to the RSPCA last year, down from 26 in 2021.

The animal charity is bracing for one of its busiest summers this year as it expects another summer of suffering, with more people reporting cruelty to animals from July to September.

The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse, and to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good.

The RSPCA says the figures are "heartbreaking" and believes the end of the coronavirus pandemic and the soaring cost of living are possible factors.

Across England and Wales, the RSPCA recorded 22 per cent more violent incidents in 2022 than the previous year, with the charity receiving 9,700 reports – the equivalent of 26 per day.

The number of beatings peaked in August at 1,100, while 77 per cent of all complaints related to physical abuse.

More animals were also killed in suspicious circumstances, with 891 reports in 2022, up 15 per cent from 775 the year before.