GREAT Britain is reputedly a nation of animal lovers but in recent times you have to wonder whether this is true.

In recent months, The Argus has reported on several incident of cats being horrifically maimed in Brighton and Hove while animal rehoming centres are inundated with animals who are dumped by owners who are not prepared to take responsibility for them any more.

Taking on a dog or cat should not be done on a whim, it needs careful consideration because more often than not they live for a decade or more.

There is more than a ring of truth to the slogan “a dog/cat is for life, not just for Christmas”.

Being cruel to a cat, dog or any other domestic pet is reprehensible and perpetrators, if caught, should face the full force of the law.

Sadly, however, it is not just dogs and cats who are subjected to unimaginable cruelty by uncaring and vindictive owners.

We still read reports of badger baiting and hare coursing from time to time, even though both are illegal.

Now it seems wild birds are being targeted as well.

At the Warnham Local Nature in Horsham, some twisted individual or possibly individuals have been smearing bird feeders with a sticky substance known as bird lime.

Obviously feeders are vital for our birds at this time of the year, but if they are smeared with glue, there is only going to be one outcome... once trapped, the birds will suffer a lingering and horrific death.

It is the season of goodwill, let’s show some of that to our animals.