new RSPCA powers - concerns

"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." Christopher Day

These pages do not intend to criticise the animal welfare work by many genuinely dedicated RSPCA staff that is still done at grassroots level. What we deplore is the politicisation and the unaccountability of certain elements within the RSPCA. The Charity's considerable financial support for the Government appears to have resulted in its being given powers that many would deem inappropriate.

"...they are in the market place....they have a very strong vested interest ....The RSPCA spends 44% of its annual income of over £100,000,000 (one hundred million pounds) on its prosecutions department."

"it would be very unfortunate if enforcement was seen to be in the hands of people who could be deemed to have an interest.."
"We are entirely supportive of a proper inspection regime in relation to the Bill, but it must be a publicly accountable one.."

  • Why are the police acting as 'enforcers' for the RSPCA, asks Christopher Booker.

    "Why was Mr Atthey arrested on the orders of the RSPCA? Why was he handcuffed, and imprisoned for nine hours? When I put this to Northumbria police, they replied that “the RSPCA is leading this investigation” and that “the arrested man remained with police until suitable arrangements were in place for an interview to take place”.
    This provokes much wider questions, also raised by other cases reported in this column, such as that of Alan Brough, who was held by Carlisle police for six hours while the RSPCA took away his 90 fell ponies, and who immediately went and hanged himself.
    The RSPCA, that once-admirable charity, now often seems to pursue animal-lovers through the courts simply to win the publicity that keeps its £115 million a year in donations rolling in. And why do the police now regard themselves as the charity’s enforcement wing? What an admission from Northumbria police that they seek to justify holding a 66-year old man of impeccable character for nine hours by saying “the RSPCA is leading this investigation”. When did Parliament empower RSPCA officials (all ordinary members of the public) to order our police around like this? ....... Its officials too often seem bent on harrying genuine animal lovers, luridly misrepresenting alleged cases of cruelty in order to win the publicity which will keep funds rolling in..." Telegraph August 7th 2010

  • Memorandum submitted by the Self-Help Group for Farmers, Pet Owners and Others Experiencing Difficulties with the RSPCA

  • Uncorrected oral evidence to EFRA - draft Animal Welfare Bill - 13 October 2004

  • The RSPCA's oral evidence to EFRA

  • Why were not the RSPCA officers ... doing duty at the farmgate of the Winslade farm when the slaughtermen forced their way in?" (See the letter in full, with others warmwell received on the same subject in 2001- 2002.)

  • The RSPCA lost £16 million from their funds on the the Stock Exchange in 2002.

  • Dr Bob McCracken's BVA Presidential Speech 14 October 2004 ".....Nevertheless, the new Act must be enforced in a consistent and effective manner - and in a manner that allows action other than the ultimate prosecution. We must be able to have a twofold action, namely advice and encouragement followed, if necessary, by prosecution - the carrot & the stick. Government must also ensure that there will be adequate resources allocated within the Bill. Strategy without action is futile and sterile - and holds us all to ridicule! .."

  • Aug 18 2004 "The RSPCA is embarking on a fundraising drive with a digital TV campaign which will ask viewers to sign up to a regular donation of ?3 a month by direct debit. The RSPCA appears to be building a very well financed power base.

  • Notes from FoBAS about the AWB. "When the public finally stand up and demand that they have rights to protect their animals they will find they are too late. .."

  • Animal Welfare Bill - new powers for RSPCA



    Link to website that has concerns about the RSPCA:
    and its self-help group:

  • April 2002 - "Like so much else that this Government seeks to do, it will further undermine the Briton's ancient right to liberty from the state's interference." Telegraph Opinion

  • April 23 ~ " the spider at the centre of a huge web of snoopers and informants in the countryside" Telegraph Opinion. "... a National Wildlife Crime Intelligence Unit..... will liaise closely with HM Customs and Excise and with animal charities such as the RSPB and the RSPCA, politicised bodies which are gradually accumulating too many powers. In short, it will be the spider at the centre of a huge web of snoopers and informants in the countryside. . ....."