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Thursday, 9 October 2008

Concerns over 'overzealous' RSPCA


A recent report By Paul Burnell File On 4 highlights the need for a review of Charities powers.



There are critics who believe pet owners are becoming victims of an allegedly overzealous investigations and prosecutions policy.

According to barrister Nick Tucker if a recent case had succeeded "every child who did not take their sick pet to the vet could have been prosecuted".

He says this was the implication in the case of a 15-year-old girl who found herself in court after following her father's advice not to take her injured pet cat to the vets.

Unlike their Scottish counterparts, the RSPCA in England is responsible for bringing its own, private prosecutions which barrister Jonathan Rich says fail to match the standards of prosecution that the Crown Prosecution Service applies to criminal cases. He argues that in prioritising the interests of animals it means other people are prosecuted alongside those who genuinely mistreat animals.

Mr Rich said: "It might sound attractive to prioritise the interests of animals but look what it means for a farmer who is looking to retire, whose cattle have not had the right treatment for a day or two - is it really in the interests of the public for him to be prosecuted for cruelty?"

1 comment:

The Attorney General said...

there needs to be some independant control over the RSPCA prosecutions arm, either the CPS or the Police should take over cruelty prosecutions, the RSPCA have a conflict of interest due to the money generated from the publicity around a prosecution, additionally, the Police for example gather evidence that is presented to the CPS for a descion wheter to prosecute, the RSPCA have no such safegaurd.