Threats to RSPCA man

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An RSPCA inspector is being rehoused as "a matter of urgency" after his anti-animal cruelty work led to threats of violence.

The inspector, who has already taken 40 cruelty cases to courts in north- east England this year, is determined to continue but is worried about dangers to his family.

He has been attacked before but the final straw came when hooded thugs swooped on his home, smashed up his RSPCA van and held a knife to his throat on his doorstep.

The inspector, whose identity is not being released, said: "I am worried about my wife and children. I don't want them to have to live in fear of it happening again. Whoever is doing it obviously wants to warn me off and stop the work I'm doing."

The family would be rehoused "as a matter of urgency", said regional RSPCA superintendent David Millard. "This sort of incident is not common but it is happening more and more. If these attacks increase it may be necessary to look at ways of improving inspectors' security in the near future."