Tuesday, 28 September 2010


Poor Mary Bale. The woman who, in a "moment of madness", dumped a cat in a wheelie bin has been charged with animal cruelty. The RSPCA is prosecuting her with causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and "not providing the animal with a suitable environment". It would make you giggle if it didn't have the potential to ruin her life. The woman appears to have led a blame­less existence for 45 years and then she did something silly; we've all done silly things. She has said she is profoundly sorry. My cats do far worse things to little voles, mice and even baby birds than Ms Bale did to that cat in the bin. But that's OK, because it's "natural". Among the dozens of rules for owning a cat, introduced in the ridiculous Animal Welfare Act four years ago ("groom" it!?), is making sure your cat is able to "exhibit normal behaviour patterns". Funnily enough, the RSPCA's advice on kitties doesn't extend to explaining that normal behaviour may mean carnage from the natural kingdom appearing on your kitchen floor twice a day.
Sweet charity
A sense of proportion is beyond the wit of animal lovers, themselves often rather in­humane creatures, as viciously self-righteous as a parade of cardinals. Factory farming amounts to far greater cruelty than the actions of a few callous pet owners. Yet in 2009, the RSPCA spent ten times as much on its "inspectorate", a quasi-military force with the power to break into places without a warrant, than it did on the Freedom Food campaign to encourage high welfare standards in animal farming, which has a far wider impact on animal welfare, given the numbers involved.
The RSPCA seems to be more interested in harassing members of the public. Two years ago, it used its new powers to frighten off schools from keeping pets, asking them to name a sole individual responsible for rabbits' welfare - so it knew whom to threaten when the play got a bit noisy.
The British are profoundly hypocritical when it comes to attitudes to children and animals; just because it's a cliché, it doesn't mean it isn't true. Where is the list of rules instructing parents to provide outdoor space, healthy food and appropriate company for a child - on pain of prosecution? Abandon an animal and you get prosecuted; abandon a child and you get to join Fathers 4 Justice.
Pets rule
I know, it's different - we have a choice, we understand what's going on. But children don't. You can hit a child; you can't hit a dog. The RSPCA has had countless people convicted of animal cruelty since being given the power to prosecute four years ago. It doesn't even need to prove an animal was suffering: now, it can step in when it thinks that it might be about to suffer. Meanwhile, kids are left in overcrowded accommodation, getting fat on McDonald's and displaying behavioural difficulties associated with too much telly and computer games. It isn't only dogs that need exercise.
Look at the list of things I have to provide for the gerbils that are about to arrive for a child's birthday, according to my legal duty of care ­under the Animal Welfare Act. The "five welfare needs" that the politicians thought they were agreeing to when they passed the bill have bred like gerbils. There are now dozens of rules for each type of pet. The gerbils' "five needs" include: a cage, a nest box, bedding, burrowing material, water from a bottle with a spout, a "mixed diet" of grains, fruit and veg, occasional sunflower seeds and peanuts, an exercise wheel, toys, a gnawing block, friends, peace and quiet and a vet. For cats, it's separate beds and toys and hiding places, company when they want it, solitude when they don't, a well-balanced diet and allowing them to behave naturally. Does that mean I have to let them chase the gerbils?

Monday, 20 September 2010


Saturday, 18 September 2010



Friday, 10 September 2010


A SELBY widow is planning to make a formal complaint to the RSPCA after her cat was seized by the animal charity and put down just hours after he went missing from her home.

Ann Baker, 79, said Nightshift – a neutered male tabby, who she had kept since 1992 – was her last living link with her retired university professor husband Clyde Manwell, who died in December 2007.
Ann, who lives close to Selby Abbey, said: "I'm very upset – furious. They just put Nightshift down as if he was so much rubbish. They tried to justify it by saying he was old.
"I told them well I'm old too! Then they said he had most of his teeth missing. Well, I have no teeth at all! It was just like something out of Nazi Germany."
Ann said Nightshift had been taken ill and was treated at a highly-regarded vets in Howden on August 30 for respiratory difficulties.

Saturday, 4 September 2010



A Selby pensioner has told how the RSPCA seized her beloved pet cat from the street and put him down within the space of 24 hours.

Ann Baker, 79, of Church Avenue, said she had owned the tabby cat, Nightshift, since 1992 and he was the last living link she had with her late husband, who had still been alive when they took the animal in as a stray.
Mrs Baker said that over the weekend, Nightshift had come down with a respiratory problem. She took him to the vet on Bank Holiday Monday and paid more than £100 to have him treated.
On Tuesday, he was whining to go out of the house so she let him into the garden. But when she came to let him in, he was nowhere to be seen.
A neighbour later told her that an RSPCA van had been seen in the area and Mrs Baker then contacted the charity.
She said: “A woman confirmed they had picked up a cat in Selby. She phoned back and said she had bad news – he had been put down. I can’t understand it as his fur was healthy, his eyes were clear.”
She said the female inspector who had taken Nightshift was asked to bring the cat’s body back to Mrs Baker, and he had now been buried in her garden.
Mrs Baker said there appeared to have been no attempt to find out who owned the animal before he was taken away.
She said: “She (the inspector) just grabbed him off the street, bundled him into a van and had him destroyed.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said that if the cat had been microchipped it would have meant he could have been returned.
She said: “We are sorry that the cat’s owner has been caused upset and distress. We have been in touch with her to convey our sympathies.
“Our staff have animals’ best interests at heart. An RSPCA inspector took the cat to a vet who confirmed that it was extremely ill and suffering from several problems including kidney failure and breathing problems.
“Generally, if an RSPCA inspector finds a healthy cat then it is kept for seven days while we make inquiries and endeavour to track down an owner, but this cannot always be the case if an animal is very ill or injured and needs immediate veterinary treatment.”

Thursday, 2 September 2010



A couple who ran an animal rescue centre in East Grafton, Claire Strong and Paul Wilson, are to face trial over cruelty charges brought by the RSPCA.

Strong, 21, and Wilson, 43, live at The Severalls, in East Grafton, where they ran the Wiltshire Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, which features in the 12 charges each of them face at Salisbury Magistrates Court.
They are contesting the allegations and it is estimated their trial, which starts on November 1, could last for 11 days.
The couple were both arrested in July 2009 at their home after neighbours called the RSPCA and police to check the premises where they kept rescued dogs, cats, rabbits and reptiles.
They had their own web site,, on which they advertised pets that needed new homes with follow-up stories about successful re-homings.
Police arrested Strong and Wilson on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs and they were interviewed and bailed while the police and RSPCA investigation continued.
It is believed that Strong and Wilson are denying all the allegations hence the need for a lengthy trial.

The Self Help Group for Farmers, Pet Owners and Others ...

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24 Jan 2008 ... 23 Sep 2008 ... Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, is furious at the recent prosecution of Pat Seager, a 71 year old pensioner who ran ...


17 Sep 2008 ... Pat Seager 71, of Green Lawn, Birkenhead, ... The pensioner, who has taken in rescue animals for the past 40 years, ... The town's MP Frank Field wrote a letter to the court that said: “I ...

RSPCA called to account

Pat Seager's case was a disgrace. MPs like Frank Field and Roger Gale have ... JR: The RSPCA is making it very hard for decent people to take rescue dogs ...


UK - Animal welfare charity Scottish SPCA is leading an investigation into the death of up to 6,000 farmed salmon at a fish farm in Shetland.
On Saturday SSPCA inspectors raided Hoganess Salmon on Shetland’s west side, acting in concert with the police, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage and the government agency Marine Scotland, reports Shetland Marine News .
Hoganess Salmon operates from the shore base at Burrastow, near Walls, and grows around 3,000 tonnes of salmon over an 18 month cycle.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: "I can confirm that the Scottish SPCA is leading an investigation into alleged fish poisoning in the Shetland Islands, working with SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Marine Scotland and the police.
"This investigation is currently ongoing therefore no further information is available at this stage."
A SEPA spokeswoman also confirmed they were involved in “an ongoing investigation into an alleged fish mortality incident in Shetland”.
Hoganess Salmon is part of the Lakeland Group which is owned by Norwegian firm Marine Farms ASA, who have fish farming operations in Shetland, Argyll, Spain, Belize and Vietnam.
Lakeland’s managing director Willie Liston said problems arose when the company wascarrying out a controlled treatment for sea lice at one of its 16 cages in the area on 15 August.
He said that between 5,000 and 6,000 fully grown salmon, weighing an average of 3.5kg each, had died and the company had immediately launched its own investigation into what happened.
SEPA became involved after dead fish started to be transported to the dump in Lerwick last Thursday, he said. SSPCA and SEPA inspectors visited the fish farm on Saturday morning.
Mr Liston said: “The investigation revolves around a higher level of mortality than we would have expected in one cage while doing a sea lice treatment. I don’t know when that will be finished but we should know something within the next 10 days.”
He said there were different treatments for sea lice and this had been “a gentle bath treatment”.
The cage had been enclosed in a tarpaulin and the treatment had been applied using “one of the latest technology workboats to look after the welfare of the fish”, allowing the dosage to be more finely measured.
The Lakeland Group is certified by the English animal welfare charity RSPCA under its Freedom Foods label, which guarantees that animals are farmed to the highest welfare standards.
Lakeland say their policy is “to farm its fish with due respect to preserving the environment and consideration of animal welfare”.

Illegal chemical may have killed salmon

30 Aug 2010... salmon died at the fish farm, based at Burrastow, near Walls. In a statement issued to the Oslo Stock Exchange, Marine Farm has said that ... and farmed fish, lice products not approved for salmon may have been used. ...

Lakeland salmon results prop up Marine Farms' Q2 performance ...
18 Aug 2009 ... News » Aquaculture . The Bergen based salmon, seabass/bream and cobia farming company, Marine Farms ASA, has reported ... -

Salmon suspended from quality scheme

31 Aug 2010... admitted to the Oslo stock exchange that illegal chemicals may have been used at the fish farm, based at Burrastow, near Walls. ... -
Hoganess Salmon
Lakeland Group

Hoganess salmon operate in western mainland Shetland, particularly Vaila Sound ... is the farm assurance and food labelling scheme established by the RSPCA ...

Salmon Deaths Trigger Inquiry

26 Aug 2010 ... On Saturday SSPCA inspectors raided Hoganess Salmon on Shetland's ... English animal welfare charity RSPCA under its Freedom Foods label, ...
The wish list - Features, Food & Drink - The Independent

13 Nov 2004 ... All salmon comes from the RSPCA's Freedom Food approved Loch Duart ... Lakeland offers a choice of gift packs: go traditional with the ... › ... › Food & Drink › Features

RSPCA warns Scottish salmon farmers to shoot fewer seals
World ...

24 Nov 2008 ... Suppliers risk explusion from the Freedom Food accreditation scheme if they continue killing seals to protect stocks in such large numbers.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Reader comments from  "Who will hold the RSPCA to account?"

You will find any court case they take to court, they fail to disclose any truely relevant evidence, in case it might help the defendant in their case Which inevitably it would. This is a breach of the CPS ruling on disclosures. They even go into the courts to train the Magistrates, something no other member of the public can do. You will also find if you study the Hansard on the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is unlawful. As it was promised by Ben Bradshaw that the Government would employ 'Inspectors to carry out these case, as the members of both the Lords and Commons though it should not be left to the RSPCA. The Government did not engage any inspectors and failed to admit that they would until the day before the Royal Assent. Why you ask yourself.....the millions that the RSPCA donated to the labour party!!
One of my main reservations, should the RSPCA ever be given such powers, is that people would be marched into court on the slightest pretext....that actually happens already! On Animals 24/7, they showed an elderly lady having her two well looked after cats forcibly removed from her simply because they had fleas. The lady was then successfully prosecuted for 'neglect'. You would expect this in a Dictatorship, but not in good old England. The fact that the RSPCA already help to train magistrates, withhold evidence that may be detrimental to their case, and have police and vets willing to say anything that is required of them, means that nobody would ever get an impartial fair trial. They truly have illusions of grandeur!
The British people are known worldwide for their generosity but not their stupidity. Even in the midst of a recession that (let's face it) has hit every household, thousands of pounds have been continually donated to charities here and abroad. I think it is only fair that the people know a bit more about the RSPCA. I grew up thinking that the RSPCA was the first port of call for any distressed pet/wild animal. It is only in recent times that I have learnt more of their 'activities'. They are very keen to help the elderly (no doubt wishing to be beneficiaries of the will when the time comes). One example was an inspector being sent miles to collect a bird from a pensioner with a broken wing. She assured the lady that the bird would be looked after but upon arrival at the shelter the bird was immediately euthenased. She was personally quite sickened by that. Then there was the story of the puppies that were handed in to a police station. The officers contacted the RSPCA to collect the pups. When the inspector arrived they told her that many of the officers had become fond of the pups and would be willing to adopt the pups after the RSCPA has inspected them and signed them off with a fit bill of health. The pups were taken to the shelter and immediately euthenased. Over the course of the weeks the police contacted the shelter to ask about the pups but were told that they had been rehomed......... These pups had homes..... What gives the RSPCA the right to act like god and kill a perfectly healthy animal that has been promised a home? The only way that we can stop this bunch of murderers is to take control of them and stop donating our hard earned money. The only way that this will happen is to tell everyone we know WHAT we know!
have to say that it speaks volumes that the RSPCA themselves were investigated by the Police for animal cruelty in October 2009! I also find it unbelievable that many of their 'franchises' (as you may know each branch is responsible for its funding and donations received go directly to the Head Office) are struggling to keep afloat while their Head Office is a luxurious state of the art building. My advice to anyone seeking help from the RSPCA for an animal is to make sure the press are there with camera's, you will then get them out en-mass!!
Just to add a little pespective here, last year the RSPCA killed in excess of 60,000 animals, 65 dogs were killed were killed using the Captive Bolt Gun, more than one a week.
The Dogs Trust lost 250 dogs, mostly from old age or terminal illness, and THEY have far less income than the RSPCA. Equally the Blue Cross does not kill dogs and cats, no matter how long they've been awaiting a home.
But then the latter two don't go in for ridiculous uniforms and all the trappings, they do what they say on the tin...Animal WELFARE.!
Incidentally, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has condemned the use of the Captive Bolt on domestic pets, but the RSPCA think they know better!
Karel White Bannister
People should be made aware that the RSPCA have no legal rights of entry and definitely canot extract from a home an animal without permission. They are conning the public also in many other ways, such as An Animal for Life. How many poor souls have left this world thinking their pet is safe, and it has been destroyed weeks if not days later. Trouble is too many people are intimidated by the wealth of the RSPCA to come forward and expose them for what they really are. An oversized, overpaid CHARITY.
The para-military uniforms go to their heads!animalnut 2 days ago
And let us not forget the RSPCAs shameless pursuit of a 2.3 million pound farm that they tried to snatch from the legal heir. That case has already cost 1.3 million.....of public donations!
People who donate do so for the good of the animals, not law suits, posh uniforms, ridiculously expensive HQ's and relentless TV advertising.
The RSPCA appear to be a law unto themselves, answering to no-one, there are many other activities of theirs which require further investigation e.g. taking funds in bequests on the understanding that a persons pet will be looked after and then said pet suddenly acquiring a terminal illness!
The RSPCA do not, in fact, have the power to seize or remove any animals either. The owner or Keeper has to agree to sign them over. What often happens though, is that the owner will refuse, so the RSPCA call the police, who then take the animal and hand it to the RSPCA. There have been cases though where the RSPCA, having secured a tame police officer, will simply remove the animal themselves with no sanction from anyone.
Anyone else doing this would be guilty of theft, but the RSPCA get away with it because nobody stops them. They appear above the Law and able to do just about anything they choose.