Peter Davies Esq Chief Executive
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Wilberforce Way
West Sussex
RH13 7WN                                                                                     29 March 2002


Dear Sir

A worrying matter has come to our attention and we would very much appreciate hearing from you with answers to the following questions:

  1. How many related cruelty cases have you attempted to take to court during the course of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in the UK in 2001 and with what results?
  2. How many cases have you taken through under  Section 1 Suffering of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 to the full span of the legal 6 months limit before announcing that you will drop the case ?

With the innumerable instances of cruelty highlighted by the press and witnessed by so many people, it is with dismay that we cannot find one instance where the RSPCA has taken any case to court, let alone follow one through to its successful conclusion.
Many times we ourselves were contacted by people on mobile phones, desperate to get the RSPCA to a scene where outstanding cruelty was taking place.  On rare occasions we or they succeeded.  Mostly (and these things rarely happened during convenient 'office hours' ) we drew blanks, receiving either recorded voices telling us the offices were closed, or desperate sounding telephone operators saying they could 'make a note but there is nothing more they can do.'  Or  'that MAFF would not allow them on the land and therefore they would be contravening the law were they to insist'.  The idea of setting up an emergency service at the Horsham Office was treated with ridicule.

The main purpose of the FMD Forum, is to look into the scourge of FMD and other animal diseases, with a view to steering the authorities into adopting into their legislation, modern methods through the use of modern science. Obviously animal welfare and the individual treatment of the sentient animals involved has to be of prime consideration; particularly in the light of so many rules and regulations, which at present allow these aspects to be overlooked in favour of trade or political advantage. In not being seen to be seeking to get these laws modified, the RSPCA has been acquiescing to the dictats of governments, rather than carrying out their duties of protecting the animals from being cruelly terrified contrary - we suppose - to the terms of its Royal Charter

Yours faithfully



Thank you for your letter of the 2 May

As statistical information, of the type you seek, is collated within each of the RSPCA Regions and co-ordinated via the Inspectorate Dept I will have to refer you to the Chief Officer of the Inspectorate Mr Crittenden, who I am sure will answer your query.

Yours sincerely
H Rogers Chief Superintendent cc COI Mr A I Crittenden.

Now the letter he refers to (above) was sent to the Chief Executive on the 29th March and no response at all was forthcoming until two telephone calls were made.