ONE of the worst cases of cruelty to animals cases in recent years has prompted fresh calls for new laws, tougher sentencing and a ban on future ownership for those convicted of serious abuses. Horrific photographs of a maggot-ridden dog carcass, emaciated puppies and disease-infected dogs and cats were displayed by the RSPCA yesterday. They were taken at a Yuen Long breeding farm. The owner is being investigated for cruelty after RSPCA inspectors found 22 dogs and three cats being kept in appalling conditions in the converted pig farm in San Sham Tsuen. One dog had been dead for a week, three others were put down immediately and 10 dogs and one cat have since been destroyed by government vets. RSPCA veterinary surgeon Dr Katriona Bradley said the caged animals were living in their own faeces, without food and water and suffering from skin disease, hair loss and ulcerated eyes. Most of the dogs were pedigree breeds - mainly Yorkshire terriers, dachshunds, Pomeranians and Pekinese, and could fetch up to $10,000. The cat and two kittens were white domestic long-hairs, now highly popular in Hong Kong. One dog, an Afghan, had been dead about a week and the corpse was maggot-infested. Three others had to be humanely destroyed on the spot because they were suffering. 'The sad thing was one little Yorkshire terrier wagged its tail and licked our hands as we put it to sleep,' Dr Bradley said. 'One of the dogs there was quite healthy, implying it had just been brought in. It wasn't as if this place had been abandoned, it was still being used for breeding.' Dr Bradley said the RSPCA was calling on the Government to establish a licensing system, with strict conditions, for all animal breeders. The society also wants higher licence fees for dogs that have not been desexed, heavy fines for hawking of animals and a change of law to so those convicted of cruelty would be banned from future ownership. 'The Government just does not see this as a priority,' Dr Bradley said. 'Fines are the same for hawking a T-shirt and hawking an animal, but a T-shirt doesn't suffer. 'Under current legislation, anyone convicted can continue to breed afterwards.' Penalties for cruelty can be up to $5,000 and six months' imprisonment - but fines imposed are usually in the low hundreds. Dr Bradley said there were many similar dog farms in the New Territories, but no offence was committed until the dogs were abused. The RSPCA discovered the farm on October 6 following a tip-off through their telephone hotline, 2711 1000.