THE RSPCA is encouraging people to report any incidents of animal cruelty seen on social media directly to them.

The call has come after incidents of animal cruelty have occurred, as a result of internet games and dares- such as the growing Neknominations craze.

Most recently, 33 year-old Paul Wooding, of Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, was sentenced to an 18 month conditional discharge and £500 fine after he swallowed four minnow fish in a booze-filled pint.

Two people in Wiltshire were before the courts yesterday, also for similar offences.

A spokeswoman for the animal charity said: "We rely on a number of methods to gather information from the public in order to combat animal cruelty. There are several ways people can contact us to report incidents of cruelty, including through our website and national call centre.

"We cannot take official complaints via our social media services and therefore encourage people to report via the appropriate channels. Our social media presence has meant that incidents of animal cruelty are often flagged up to us more often and bring certain issues into the public eye for investigation.

"The public are our eyes and ears and we rely on them to report and help us investigate incidents of animal cruelty. They are an integral part of the process and we would encourage people with information to contact us."

The RSPCA also want to send out a clear message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated, and offenders will be put through the courts.

"While people may see stunts involving live animals as a bit of fun, it is quite clearly not acceptable behaviour when it is detrimental to an animal’s welfare.

"Hopefully, recent cases involving Neknominations sends out a clear message from the courts that such behaviour will not be tolerated."