The RSPCA has said that Snapchat is being reported more regularly as a source of animal abuse. In 2015 the RSPCA received 27 reports of animal cruelty on Snapchat and this has now increased to 119 cases this year to date. The RSPCA are now calling for animal welfare included as part of the National Curriculum.
Snapchat, a video and image sharing app which deletes images after showing just a few seconds, is being referenced much more regularly in reports of animal abuse to the RSPCA.
The RSPCA have said that young people think that they are ‘invincible and untraceable’ which may be due to the images being temporary and anonymous.
According to Manchester Evening News, the images being shared include animals being mutilated, set on fire, stoned and even killed.
An anonymous unit officer for the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit said: “Not only are these savage attacks on defenceless and vulnerable animals, but videos often include youngsters laughing as they inflict the injuries or text layered over the top suggest that they find it entertaining.
“Because of the way Snapchat works, kids are using the platform to share these videos as they feel invincible and, wrongly, think it’s untraceable.
“But, if reported to us by children who have seen the videos or by worried parents, we do have tools which enable us to trace those responsible in most cases.”
Head of Education and Advice at the RSPCA, Dave Allen, has said: “We’re not out to prosecute these children but we will act when we are aware of violence against an animal or any form of cruelty.
We would prefer to educate children to ensure they understand that being cruel or causing unnecessary suffering to an animal is not funny and is wrong.
“The increase in the number of these shocking videos on Snapchat shows that there is a culture of cruelty developing on these social media platforms and it’s important that we work with other agencies to put a stop to that.
“That’s why the RSPCA would like to see animal welfare included as part of the National Curriculum.”