RESIDENTS in the South West are more concerned about animals being used in blood sports than needing homes, a new survey has found.

According to a poll by the RSPCA, 40 per cent of respondents said that the animal welfare issued they were most concerned about was animals being used in blood sports such as badger baiting or cock fighting.

However, just three per cent said a lack of homes for animals was a major concern while 17 per cent said farm animal welfare was one of their main worries.

With litter and plastic high on the public agenda, 39 per cent of people revealed they were concerned about the destruction or damage to wildlife habitats and 33 per cent worried about litter and plastic being hazardous to animals.

Klare Kennett from the RSPCA said: “People are rightly concerned about barbaric and illegal blood sports which cause the animals involved untold suffering. However, the numbers remain, thankfully, relatively small.

“What many people perhaps don’t realise is that rescue centres are bursting at the seams with animals needing homes, and that kennel-life can be stressful and difficult for many animals who wait for weeks, months or even years for their forever home.

“Similarly, people probably don’t know that millions of farm animals are kept in conditions which just aren’t good enough, and currently only a relatively small proportion are in higher welfare schemes.

“So by choosing to adopt rather than buy a pet, or checking food for the RSPCA Assured label, you could be making a difference.”

The survey also revealed that 90 per cent of us consider ourselves to be animal lovers.

More than two thirds of people think more should be done to help animals but 45 per cent said a lack of money was a barrier in doing more to help, while 33 per cent cited a lack of time.

Eight per cent of people felt their actions would make no difference.

The findings come as the RSPCA launches its new #AnimalKind campaign which aims to give people advice on how they can do more to ensure all animals are better protected and cared for. The charity has produced a free guide for people on how little acts of kindness can make a big difference.

Klare added: “It is really encouraging to see that we still consider ourselves to be a nation of animal lovers but we want to show people that it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to do your bit to help create a world that’s kinder to animals.”

To view the free Animal Kindness guide visit,