Concern about the RSPCAwarmwell note: We feel particular sympathy for the frustration felt by so many RSPCA officers on the ground. They must share many of the feelings of incomprehension shown here at the RSPCA hierarchy. The careful avoidance of cruelty cases in connection with the government foot and mouth policy is glaring. Nevertheless, although we exempt the compassionate and hard working ground officers, we blame the RSPCA for their pusillanimous stance. This extract from one of Alan and Rosie Beat's newsletters is illustrative of the energy of the RSPCA officers in the field - but notice its ending:
"We spoke with a friend today who had nothing but praise for the RSPCA, which organisation had saved her from a horrendous "welfare" situation. She keeps pigs on a small scale, four or five sows and a boar, and tried to weather the FMD storm at first. But of course the weaners couldn't be sold on, more litters were born, feed bills rose inexorably. By the time she gave in and applied for the welfare cull, things were bad. MAFF were "absolutely useless", provided no help whatsoever and kept her waiting with promises but no action. In desperation she turned to the RSPCA, who provided feed and bedding, and finally organised private slaughter and removal of the carcases, all sympathetically done. She didn't know how she could have coped without them. She received no payment at all from MAFF, whereas others in the vicinity had sent off their animals much earlier and been paid handsomely, more than market value in fact. Her final comment was "all those horror stories we've heard about welfare problems - they're all true, only worse" and to express regret that the RSPCA would not speak out against the government....."It is a national disgrace and scandal that a respected, trusted and well-loved organisation which has been happy to collect thousands and thousands of pounds from British animal lovers, should have allowed the policies of 2001 to carry on without making any loud protest on behalf of the animals and without demanding court action.
The RSPCA is jealous of its reputation and anxious to retain its "Royal" appellation. Like many other NGOs it has found itself compromising its principles and justifying to itself actions that are utterly unjustifiable. many find this unforgiveable.
From (name and address supplied)
I am mildly surprised that you are all jumping up and down expressing amazement that the slaughterman is not being prosecuted by the RSPCA. Of course he isn't going to be prosecuted and it's fairly obvious why not. If he were to be prosecuted he would have to use the well known and tried excuse of "only following orders". Well, whose orders would those be? Only little Blair and his gang of cut throats and animal murderers. Do you really think they want to be implicated? Of course not. So they've effectively put the kybosh on the whole thing by buying off the RSPCA and the rest of the AR bunch by promising to ban foxhunting. That WAS the ONLY mention of animals in the Queen's speech, I believe.
The RSPCA has been completely taken over by anti hunting fanatics so don't expect any sense from them. You only have to look at how they are now refusing to take subscriptions from people whose views do not co-incide with their extremism. They are a devalued and extremist organisation.
I think the Gilwern case really does prove this about them.
RSPCA. They could have made such a difference to the whole outcome of FMD had they spoken out against it.It isn't just about them not taking up legal cases they SHOULD have spoken out against what was happening.
By keeping quiet it gave the public the impression that all was well, and this was obviously the intention.
There can be no question of the suffering that went on to animals in this Country,especially when you read the Submission of Helen O'Hare. (She is one brave lass. How she expects to keep her position after saying what she has..I dont know. Are you in touch with her at all?)
The RSPCA must be brought to task over this. They have failed in their duty as did so many people. But as they are taking money from the public to protect animals which they quite obviously did not do and their silence allowed in excess of 11 million animals to suffer - they must not be allowed to get away with it.
It always grieves me that I have the Sanctuary animals as it holds me back from making a stand and openly stating what the RSPCA are really like. But I do always have to think of the safety of my animals.
Do you know about 10 years ago we dealt with a cow in the most appalling conditions which the RSPCA turned a blind eye to despite its suffering and when we made a fuss we had an RSPCA Inspector turn up at the Sanctuary saying that he had a report about a horse stuck in mud. We said that there wasn't and he was welcome to have a look. To which he replied that he knew there wasn't but if we carried on making a fuss about this cow then he would make up a case about a horse stuck in the mud.
This is the sort of person we are dealing with. There is little compassion among them for animals.They have their agenda and nothing will get in their way.
From Lawrence and Karen Wright.
You reported on 6th April, Jon Dobson's email about the apparent policy of the RSPCA to avoid prosecutions over cruelty to animals associated with the Government's handling of FMD: and asked if we, as readers are happy about this. Karen and I ARE NOT.
You may remember my highlighting of a report in the Western Morning News on 31st October last year. It described how "an upset pet owner from Scotland wept yesterday as a court heard how she and her husband left their dogs to swelter and almost die in their car on a hot summer's day..." The two dogs were rescued, treated and they recovered. The brave, welfare-conscious RSPCA prosecuted their owners - who were given a twelve month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £352 towards the RSPCA's costs.
The report concluded "RSPCA Inspector Rob Skinner said outside the Court: "These are caring pet owners who love their animals but made a terrible, stupid mistake. However we will continue to prosecute in cases such as this as people must be made to realise there is no safe way to leave a dog in a car in summer."
I noted at the time - "This is the same RSPCA that at that same time was failing to notice, or collect evidence of any cruelty during the FMD killings - even when it was widely witnessed as at Knowstone or even recorded on video - that sent me information sheets justifying the slaughter and misinforming about the efficacy of vaccination. [They have no excuse for apparently continuing to maintain this ignorance - a representative of theirs attended the Bristol Forum on vaccination.] Why were not the RSPCA officers that used to attend and apparently want to continue to attend and supervise at the livestock markets doing duty at the farmgate of the Winslade farm when the slaughtermen forced their way in?"
Jon Dobson's experience highlights again the hypocracy and double standards of the RSPCA.
The local reputation of the RSPCA among farmers is that they only turn out for photo opportunities and when TV cameras are likely to be there. We know what to expect of the RSPCA if the government ever achieve the powers they seek in the Animal Health Bill - assistance to the government in covering up massive cruelty by their henchmen while they divert public attention by carrying out show trials of unfortunate private individuals who make accidental mistakes.
And as for the BVA.... These persons should not have Statutary monopoly of the treatment of animals. Vets cannot be trusted.
Middle Campscott Farm
Devon EX34 8LS Tel: 01271 864621
From Coleen Taylor
I do not believe they would have lost their Charitable status. I think they are hiding behind it. How in all reality could the CC have come out and publicly stated that it was going to remove RC status from the RSPCA for bringing animal suffering to the attention of the public - and then prosecuting the people concerned. After all foot and mouth was not 'political' - so the Government would have us believe. So where was the RSPCA's problem?
You and I know that a 'pact' had been struck - but since when did saving some animals i.e. foxes justify the cruel death of others? Now what Charity worth its salt would make that trade off?
An Open letter to Rolf Harris from Capt Bryn Wayt
I am not an "animal rights" person per say, but a private individual who was very displeased that the RSPCA failed to take any slaughterer to court when countless were caught on camera being overtly cruel to animals they were told to slaughter during the FMD cull exercise.
The GILWERN atrocity was an epic example - a rifleman caught on a home video camera taking pot-shots at sheep in a field and failing to kill cleanly on more than one occasion. I have the FULL report if you would like to see it.
There were over 2,000 cases of cruelty reported to the RSPCA and not one has ended up in court.
You may or may not be aware Rolf that about 10 million farm-yard animals have been slaughtered due to political considerations, rather than FMD. A sow with 10 piglets is counted as ONE kill. Likewise a cow with a calf, or a sheep with two lambs.........each is one kill. That is why DEFRA figures are distorted and cannot be trusted.
Being heavily and wisely involved with animal welfare issues Rolf, may I have your comments please about the RSPCA's failure to bring even a token case to court ? The RSPCA's T/V adverts tonight boast of upholding the law in regards cruelty, but I see them as bare faced hypocrisy now.
From (Name and address supplied)
The amount of suffering that went on during the 'FMD' epidemic was phenomenal. The RSPCA must not be allowed to turn a blind eye to what went on,for in so doing,they are telling the rest of the World that it is OK to treat animals in this way.
There can be NO EXCUSE for this level of animal suffering,especially when carried out by Government Officials, and Vets.
If the RSPCA ignores what has happened then we must show the British public just what the RSPCA is really about.
From Jill Britten
No, I am not happy at all with the RSPCA. The dreadful cruelty witnessed by many was not addressed by the RSPCA and I can guarantee that if I had treated animals in similar manner to some of the slaughtermen they, the RSPCA would have been quick to prosecute me. I am afraid I shall no longer contribute when a collection box is thrust towards me in the street. In the past my children have spent many christmases playing their musical instruments in the streets of Bath (have even got a lovely picture that was in the local press) collecting for the RSPCA.
What a joke.
Jill Britten.Whitewood Farm Bristol
From Anne Lambourn
Have just received questionnaire from RSPCA about "How you feel about the way animals are treated".
Surveys to be returned within 14 days. Spare copies from HQ at Wilberforce Way, Oakhurst Business Park, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 7WN Tel 0870 0101 181 Fax 0870 7530 048
LATE ENTRIES: latest email concerning the RSPCA: April 8 "I have just received the (annual) RSPCA Animal Survey 2002 to complete although I am not a member. It reads "IFYOU CARE about animals, it's important that you complete this survey today." One of the questions is "Did you know that as well as domestic animals, the RSPCA cares and campaigns for the following animals? 1)Farm animals..." ...... No comment! "
"If anyone wants a Survey to complete (they are very short) please telephone 0870 010 1181 and ask for "Fundraising"! Completed Surveys (and presumably comments?) to be sent to The RSPCA, FREEPOST, Bristol BS38 7LB"
From David Oakes
Regarding the RSPCA, when we had our meeting with them we did state to them, that it would be in their own interest to do a press statement condemning the Government on the handling of the FMD outbreak. This they have not done. What I cannot understand is they prosecuted a farmer on the Wirral for neglect and cruelty. But at the height of the FMD they say their hands were tied. Strange.