In its ‘RSPCA policies on animal welfare’ it states under its Objects of the RSPCA that ‘The charitable objects of the RSPCA are to promote kindness and to prevent or suppress cruelty to animals

The RSPCA’s vision is, ‘To work for a world in which all humans respect and live in harmony with all other members of the animal kingdom

Under its Mission Statement, the RSPCA declares ‘The RSPCA as a charity will, by all lawful means, prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering.’

And under their General Principles, the RSPCA states ‘The general principles on which the RSPCA operates, derived from extensive scientific evidence, is based on the fact that vertebrates and some invertebrates are sentient, and can feel pain and distress.’

What happened to all those honorable and admirable objects, visions, statements and principles when RSPCA inspectors arrived at an address in South Wales and proceeded to slaughter ten German Shepherd dogs with a captive bolt?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

RSPCA to turn away unwanted animals - NO REALLY!!!!

The RSPCA is to begin turning away people who bring in stray or unwanted animals, according to a leaked package of documents obtained by Channel 4 News.

Err - haven't they been doing this for years? Isn't it cheaper to turn an animal away or kill it!!

Many of the 75,000 unwanted animals which are taken to RSPCA centres each year across England and Wales could be affected.

This comes after the RSPCA itself complained that the number of abandoned animals is soaring as a result of recession.

The leaked internal documents disclose that from 4 May, 17 animal centres run by the RSPCA's national body should begin turning away people who come to them with unwanted animals. The hope is that the 40 centres run by the charity's branches across England and Wales will follow suit.

Animals that have been "RSPCA generated" - those which have been seized in cruelty or animal protection cases or at immediate risk - will be the only animals taken in after that date.

Pets that belong to people taken into hospital, evicted from their homes, or unwanted or stray animals, will now be turned away. Unless the animal is at immediate risk, the unfortunate visitor holding the animal will be told to contact the police, the council or a vet.

RSPCA staff are being issued with a one-line script to tell the public that the most pressing need of RSPCA animal centres is to care for abused and damaged pets rescued by its officers from neglect or cruelty. They must also make sure they have room for the animals, while "offering advice" to owners of unwanted pets who come to them for help.

The documents say the move will allow the RSPCA to become more efficient, by reducing the need for the organisation to pay to house animals in private boarding facilities.

The RSPCA had an income of £119 million in 2008 and is Britain's eighth largest charity. This latest move is part of its £54 million savings scheme over three years, after donations fell during the recession.

The RSPCA investigated 140,575 cases in 2008. That is up from 110,841 three years earlier. It spent £11.1 million on prosecutions in 2008, compared with £7 million in 2007.

The rise is in part the result of the Animal Welfare Act, which came into effect in 2007 and which was strongly supported by the RSPCA, which introduced new offences of failures in animal welfare, rather than just cruelty.

The move is controversial because it signals a move away from the charity’s role in animal welfare to concentrate instead on policing animal cruelty.

Some vets warn that if the RSPCA turns away unwanted animals, it could result in more pets being abandoned.

The British Veterinary Association President-elect, Harvey Locke said: “I think the concern is that more unwanted pets may be left to fend for themselves, that people will just leave them on the streets or turf them out of their cars on the motorway. I would like to think that that would not happen but that is a risk.

“We need to look at the cause of this. Why are more and more dogs and cats, and exotic pets as well, being taken on by people and then disposed of because they're unwanted?”

RSPCA Chief Superintendant Tim Wass rejected suggestions the policy would lead to more animals being illegally abandoned.

He said: “We will not let that happen. If there is any evidence of that we will be the first to see it and if anything like that happens we will re-focus. We will in each and every case make sure that animals’ welfare is protected.

“Like any organisation at the moment we have to answer some difficult economic challenges. RSPCA has always prioritised which animals it takes in. We are looking to formalise that…and to make sure that our finite resources go to the animals that need them most.

“It is not simply turning people away. We will still be taking animals in from the public where we perceive that there is a risk to those animals’ welfare.”

Mr Wass conceded that the move would put extra pressure on smaller animal charities but said charities could not be expected to deal with the issue of unwanted pets and there was a need for new measures to prevent the problem.

He added: “Owners have to accept responsibility and that starts when they decide to take on the pet in the first place.”

The potential burden of tens of thousands of unwanted animals, many of which will now be turned away by the RSPCA, will now fall on smaller charities devoted to particular animals such as Dogs Trust and Cats Protection, as well as smaller rescue centres such as the Mayhew Animal Home and Celia Hammond Trust in London.

The RSPCA’s 169 local branches are independent of the national charity. Angela Walder, Chairwoman of the RSPCA branch in Isle of Sheppey, Kent, and a member of the charity’s governing Council, said some branches may ignore the new policy.

She said: “I think what the national society is doing with this policy is trying to reduce the number of just animals people don't want any more, for various reasons, coming in to us in order to make sure we've got spaces for the other at-risk animals.

"But I think, when it comes to the branches, they will do what they've always done which is take in as many animals as they can.”

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