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RSPCA and the Animal Welfare Bill

Link to website that has concerns about the RSPCA (each opens in a new window):
and its self-help group:

"...a disaster if the RSPCA were to become known as a prosecuting society"

"...... their founder Richard Martin, at the inaugural meeting of what was to become the RSPCA, said it would be a disaster if the RSPCA were to become known as a prosecuting society. He said that their aim should be to alter the moral tone of the country. What the RSPCA should be doing is going to people who have a problem, perhaps someone has died, perhaps they have become ill or unemployed, and they should say, "You have run out of money. Let us help you. You have got arthritis, you cannot trim your dog's nails, let us send our volunteers round." Not prosecution first and foremost. .." Ms Kasica


Extract from oral evidence to EFRA Select Committee - draft Animal Welfare Bill - 13 October 2004

Paddy Tipping: So are you telling me that the RSPCA is a force for bad rather than a force for good? 

Mr Day: From a lot of what I have seen it would appear that way.

Q801  Paddy Tipping: Right, that is the view of all of you? 

Ms Kasica: Yes. 

Mr Arthur: Unfortunately, yes.

Mr Day: I support the idea of an RSPCA.  I think we need an RSPCA in this country and in the world.  I just think that there are certain ways that it operates at the moment that are unsuitable to its purpose.

 .. ..

Mr Day: In the recent foot and mouth disaster, for instance, there were many cases of acknowledged animal suffering where funds could have helped those animals through helicopter airlifts of food or something. People had donated funds expecting them to go to animal welfare improvement and some of these animals could have been saved and their welfare enhanced by investment as opposed to just standing and watching. We have had cases in Swindon, which is local to me, where private animal welfare activists have had to go in and help in cases where the RSPCA will not help because nobody will come forward and help in prosecution. .......

Mr Day:.... I would like to see an end to the practice for instance where another cat in Swindon was brought to me with a collar round its neck "RSPCA aware" rather like a car in a ditch saying "Police aware". This animal was dying of chronic kidney disease and four people had complained about that animal to the RSPCA to my knowledge and they had either released it again with its collar or given the collar to somebody to put on it to stop them being pestered. You ask what role they should fulfil. I think that is the role that they should be fulfilling - enhancing animal welfare wherever animal welfare is threatened. .....

Mr Day:.... if we look in this Bill we have the concept of the possibility of animal welfare problems in somebody's view inciting them to have unfettered access. That would make me very frightened. If there is a very genuine ground that animal welfare is being jeopardised then I can see the point but through the proper channels, not at somebody's whim who could then at 8 o'clock in the evening decide to just pop in and have access because he knows the owners are not there and do what he wishes. ...."

From Memorandum submitted by the Self-Help Group for Farmers, Pet Owners and Others Experiencing Difficulties with the RSPCA   October 13 2004

" Labour's election budget in 1997 was influenced to the tune of #1 million by the Political Animal Lobby (Pal). The animal rights movement has taken over the RSPCA and turned it from an old-fashioned charitable cause to a newfangled centre of activist politics...."

The Times May 2002