• Kyodo

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The number of suspected animal abuse cases investigated by police across the nation reached 105 in 2019, setting a record, and included some cases in which videos of abuse were uploaded online, police data showed Thursday.

The figure has been rising in recent years, according to the National Police Agency, which has been keeping data on suspected violations of the animal protection law since 2010.

By type of animal, 66 cases targeted cats, followed by 27 in which dogs were victimized. Other abused animals included horses, raccoons and ferrets. By type, 49 cases involved abandonment, 36 featured neglect and other types of abuse, and in 20 cases the animals died.

A man arrested in July last year on suspicion of animal abuse posted a video online in which he put a condom over his pet parakeet and poked it with a stick. Police were alerted by viewers and the man was fined ¥200,000 in October.

In June, a revised animal protection law with tougher penalties will take effect in Japan. Animal killers will face up to five years in prison or a maximum ¥5 million fine, compared with the current penalties of up to two years in jail or a ¥2 million fine.

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