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Reading the e-mail about David, Dot and Jean's meeting with the RSPCA, posted on 3rd Feb, I couldn't help remembering 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."

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?

Their self pitying complaints reported in David Dot and Jean's report ring very hollow. I expect the Exeter SVS vets would sound much the same if given the opportunity to tell about how their kindly slaughter actions had been misrepresented and misunderstood.

What stand has the RSPCA made on the Animal Health Bill? While the RSPCA continue to prosecute caring pet owners who love their animals but make terrible, stupid mistakes... and ignore the uncaring cruelty of the powerful, it doesn't seem to me that "their concerns [are] the same as ours"