The animal welfare charity has revealed that from January to June this year there were 16 animal cruelty incidents on social media in Bedfordshire reported to the RSPCA, compared to 41 last year and 38 in 2016.
The RSPCA has more than 400 online incidents of cruelty and neglect in the East of England reported to it each year.
Young children are being exposed to horrific incidents of animal suffering online in ways previous generations have not experienced.
The RSPCA is launching Generation Kind, an education and prevention programme aimed at children to teach them about respect for animals and how to care for them. There are nine projects within the programme.
Fire destroys huge area of land at Great Denham Golf Course
Anglian Water rules out hosepipe ban for Bedford households
'Sophisticated crime group' behind £1.1m stolen from Luton council that was destined for a Bedford school
Man charged with burglary and assaulting an emergency worker in Flitwick
Bedford bus company revises timetable after passenger numbers review
Chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “The number of children seeing animal abuse online is shocking - the current generation of children are witnessing horrifying animal cruelty and neglect through channels which simply didn’t exist for previous generations.
“The risk for children growing up in the 21st century is that frequent and casual exposure to animal abuse will desensitise them and may even make it seem acceptable.
“Animals need us now more than ever and we want to grow a new generation of young people who care, who are informed and who want to do their best for animals.
“This is why we are launching Generation Kind - an ambitious education programme targeting school children, children in care, young offenders or those at risk of offending and other disadvantaged young people. Central to this is a new campaign to get animal welfare taught in all schools.”