This site is dedicated to those who have the temerity to criticise the RSPCA and other related establishment organisations. The title of this site is taken from the Concise Oxford Dictionary: animadversion, noun. Criticism; censure.


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The RSPCA made US feel like criminals
Heavy-handed prosecutions by the animal welfare charity are leaving many innocent pet owners devastated

By Andrew Gilligan

7:42PM BST 29 Jun 2013

When the family dog, Becks, got fleas, Charlene Draper did what any responsible owner would do: she treated him with canine anti-flea shampoo. As a result, thanks to Britain’s biggest animal welfare charity, she found herself in court last week, facing up to six months in prison and costs of £8,000.

“It’s been a massive worry, really draining. It’s been hanging over me for more than a year, not knowing what’s going to happen,” she said yesterday. “When I was found not guilty, I just burst into tears.”

Ms Draper, from Milton Keynes, didn’t know it, and the instructions with the shampoo didn’t tell her, but some dogs are allergic to the saliva left behind when a flea bites them, and the shampoo can increase the chances of getting the allergy. “It is a very common problem,” says Colin Vogel, a vet who testified for the defence. “I have seen it hundreds of times in practice. This is what makes this such an outrageous case.”

Ms Draper thought her German shepherd dog’s skin condition was due to the fleas, so she gave him another shampoo. She would have taken him to her vet if it had persisted, but she didn’t get the chance. Two weeks after she gave him the second wash, the RSPCA, alerted by a tip-off, swooped. She hasn’t seen Becks since, even though she was acquitted. “They told me they would take him to the vet and they would bring him back later,” she says. “The vet told them the dog could go home, but the RSPCA took him off to some kennels instead. Becks was my daughter’s pet and she was absolutely devastated. She knew about the court case and kept asking when we were going to get him back.”

Ms Draper, at least, can still get her dog back. But for many pet owners, even if they are cleared or never charged, that is no longer an option. By the time their cases are resolved, the RSPCA has sold, given away or even killed their animals.
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Charlene Draper’s case is one of a growing and disturbing number of apparently oppressive prosecutions by Britain’s favourite animal charity. The RSPCA is by some distance the largest private prosecutor in England, bringing criminal charges against 30 new people every week. Most, of course, are entirely justified, involving often sickening mistreatment or neglect. But vets, lawyers and other professionals handling the defence of these cases say they are seeing more and more of the other kind – where caring owners, with the best of intentions and unblemished records, are dragged into the dock when simple advice or assistance would be more appropriate.

“The RSPCA go in all guns blazing. To get them to call a halt is nigh-on impossible unless you do a deal, normally to sign over your animals – which is the last thing people want to do,” says Anne Marie Gregory, a barrister who handles many RSPCA cases.

They may dress in police-like uniforms, conduct police-like interviews and give themselves police-like titles, but RSPCA inspectors are civilians, with neither the safeguards for suspects applied by the police nor any more power than any other private citizen to interrogate people, seize animals or enter private property. Few pet owners realise this until it is too late.

In March 2011 Tracey Johnson and her daughter Sophie went out for the morning, leaving Tracey’s five cocker spaniel puppies in their back garden in Snodland, Kent. It was a sunny day; the pups had food, water and shelter in a roofed cage. They also, however, had a neighbour who didn’t like the Johnsons keeping dogs. When a brief rain shower came over, making the puppies wet, she called the RSPCA.

“Another neighbour called me and said the RSPCA were there,” said Tracey. “I came back straight away and the neighbour told them I was coming back. I was two minutes from the house and as soon as the inspector knew I was coming back, she jumped over my fence and took the dogs. By the time I got there they were in the back of her van. I was in a terrible state. I’ve never even had a point on my driving licence.”

Claiming the puppies had been left “wet and shivering”, the RSPCA brought criminal charges against not just Tracey Johnson, but her 16-year-old daughter.

“I had to sit in the dock,” says Sophie. “It was horrible. My schoolwork suffered, I couldn’t concentrate in class. I felt like a criminal, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. My mum was crying in the dock, then I started crying as well.”

“I was shaking,” says Tracey. “I couldn’t stand up in the dock, and when I started telling them about the puppies I just broke down.”

Both mother and child were acquitted. The judge, Michael Kelly, was harshly critical of the RSPCA. “To criminalise a mother and daughter in this way, who in the previous seven weeks had cared properly for these puppies, was wrong,” he said. “To prosecute a 16-year-old in these circumstances was totally inappropriate. The proceedings should never have been brought. She clearly had very little involvement with these animals and was not responsible for them.”

Prosecution of children and other vulnerable people is a recurring theme in RSPCA cases. For generations, the people of many working-class areas, especially former pit villages in the North, have gone out rabbiting to catch something for the pot. It is perfectly legal – and widely practised – but in 2011, the RSPCA prosecuted Amber West, a County Durham girl aged just 13, for it. They said she hadn’t killed the rabbit swiftly enough. “She knew what she was doing. She knew she wasn’t in the wrong and she was upset,” says her mother, Karen Ainsley.

“She was given a £200 fine and a 10-year ban on keeping animals. We took it to appeal and the judge wiped everything off except for a conditional discharge, and said she was free to go out with her dog and her ferret that day if she wanted.” The local newspaper printed a string of falsehoods about the case – planted, Ms Ainsley believes, by the RSPCA. “I was scared,” said Amber. “Hardly any of it was true. I thought I was going to lose all my dogs. I wasn’t even allowed to buy dog food at the pet shop.”

Then there was 41-year-old Carl Dunn, from Hartlepool, who had alcohol and mental health problems. Local youths regularly invaded his home and used it for drug-taking, beating up Mr Dunn, taking his money and injuring his dog, Ben, after he tried to defend his owner. But it wasn’t the thugs who were taken to court. It was Mr Dunn, by the RSPCA, for “allowing” Ben to be hurt and not taking him to the vet. Mr Dunn’s counsel, Barry Gray, said: “All my client knows is that he loved Ben, would never hurt him, and he was the only friend he had, and will have. This man is more to be pitied than prosecuted.”

And above all, there are the old. “It might be that they get ill, they can’t cope, and levels of care drop,” says Nigel Weller, a Sussex-based solicitor specialising in RSPCA cases. “There’s never any intention to harm the animal. But the RSPCA exploit the elderly’s respect for the uniform. They take their only companions, and leave the human being in squalor.”

Georgina Langley, 67, from Kent, was living in poor conditions after her house was badly damaged by cowboy builders. With her hearing and sight deteriorating and in need of a hip replacement, she was too embarrassed to ask for help. The RSPCA and three police officers raided her home, taking away her 13 cats, four cockerels and her dog, Sweetie. As well as bringing her up on criminal charges, the RSPCA would later apply to seize Miss Langley’s home to pay their court costs of £28,000.

“It was the most frightening 10 months of my life,” Miss Langley said. “I’ve never been in trouble with the police and had never seen the inside of a courtroom.” Within days of the raid, the RSPCA had destroyed five of her cats, even though those given independent post-mortems were subsequently found to be healthy and well cared for.

Miss Langley’s vet, David Smith, said: “They kept her standing out in the rain in her garden for hours while they searched her house. The inside of her house may not have been in a condition that many people would choose to live, but the animals were happy. This lady needed help and support, not hauling through the courts.” Miss Langley was given a conditional discharge and was reunited with three of her pets. The RSPCA dropped most of the charges, as well as its application to seize her home.

The RSPCA claimed last year to have been placed at “breaking point” by the growing “crisis” of animal cruelty in Britain. But its own statistics tell a slightly different story. The number of complaints to its 24-hour hotline is static or falling – there were 1.16 million in 2012, down from 1.3 million in 2011 and precisely the same number as in 2010. And fewer of those complaints are being investigated – 150,833, down from almost 160,000 in each of 2010 and 2011.

But even as its cruelty caseload stayed level and its cruelty investigations dropped, the RSPCA’s prosecutions have risen dramatically. Just under 1,600 people were taken to court by the charity in 2012, an increase of 43 per cent in two years. Over the same period, the RSPCA has also reduced its use of advice and warning notices to animal owners – from 86,000 in 2010 to 78,000 last year. There has, in other words, been a clear move away from informal resolutions and towards criminal ones.

Perhaps that’s because the complaints, though the same in number, are becoming more serious? But the figures don’t support that, either. Of those RSPCA defendants convicted in the criminal courts, 81.5 per cent were disqualified from keeping animals. That is two per cent down on two years ago, suggesting that the cases are, if anything, becoming less serious.

What, then, can explain the RSPCA’s increased willingness to send in the heavy mob? “They rely on the prosecution side to raise their profile,” says Nigel Weller. “The more prosecutions they mount, the more publicity they can do and the more money they raise.”

As the RSPCA itself admits, it needs the money increasingly badly. “The US can run budget deficits for ever, but the RSPCA can’t,” its chief executive, Gavin Grant, said last year. “We can’t print our own money. We have to get ourselves into a sustainable position pretty quickly.” Mr Grant, a former PR man and Lib Dem activist, has led an energetic campaign to raise the charity’s profile, taking expensive prosecutions against hunts and protesting against the “blood-stained milk” of farmers who allow the badger cull.

Sometimes, alas, the RSPCA publicity machine jumps the gun. In January, it sent out an appeal for funds on the back of a case where two teenagers had admitted throwing a kitten around their bedroom. But a third girl in the case was pleading not guilty, and had not been convicted. The video footage had to be hastily removed from the RSPCA’s YouTube channel for legal reasons.

Clearly, the behaviour of those particular children was inexcusable. But there may be a wider agenda than just fundraising behind the charity’s pursuit of the young, the mentally infirm and the old. “There are elements within the RSPCA that simply do not want children and the elderly to own pets,” says Anne Kasica, of the Self-Help Group, an organisation for animal owners “experiencing difficulties with the RSPCA”.

Perhaps the most chilling child case of all is that of a 15-year-old girl known only as “C”. One day she noticed that the family cat’s tail had been badly injured, probably in a road accident, and asked her father whether it should be taken to the vet. We’ll give it a couple of days, see whether it gets better on its own, he said. Soon after, someone spotted the cat and reported it to the RSPCA – who prosecuted not just the father, but the 15-year-old for failing to disobey her parent and take it to the vet on her own, whether or not she had the means to do so. This child, too, was acquitted – but the RSPCA didn’t give up, appealing the case, unsuccessfully, as far as the High Court.

The RSPCA declined to comment on the individual cases discovered by The Sunday Telegraph, though in Miss Langley’s case it said she had refused their help. It said: “The RSPCA proceeded to prosecute only approximately half of the individuals reported to our prosecutions department by our inspectors. That is hardly over-zealous. Of these, 97.9% resulted in successful prosecutions. Those that seek to defend animal abuse can only cite a handful of examples of criticism by magistrates.”

Owning a pet has always been a normal part of childhood, and valuable companionship for the old. If some in the RSPCA get their way, that may not be the case much longer



RSPCA destroys HALF of the animals that it rescues
- yet thousands are completely healthy

Sunday, Dec 30 2012



Please sign and share this petition:

We ask the government to investigate the RSPCA's activities,
especially where they infringe civl or legal rights.




£115m... isn't that enough to rescue a tortured dog?

By Liz Jones
UPDATED: 17:21, 4 March 2012




A new look at the Animal Welfare Act 2006

Especially Section 9

Get tidying

Up to date, day to day activities of the RSPCA

Have a read



There are currently two forums for discussion of the issues raised on this site.

Freedom Food Again

Have a look at the latest from Hillside

and see if you can agree with the statement below:

Monitored by their Inspectors.

Click the image below

The full Winter 2009 report that includes the article above
Hillside Animal Sanctuary





The RSPCA have a conviction

Perverting the Course of Justice


Not content with being convicted for Perverting the Course of Justice the RSPCA try their hand at blackmail.

This is an excerpt from Dr.Peachey's book 'The Cockfighters'
and the
Perversion of Justice



Our friends at the Self Help Group asked us to put this link up on the main page.

Many people have thought
"It will never happen to me because........." and then it happened..



and they lost their good name and animals forever!!





Telephone Numbers



What to do if the RSPCA call


The site above also has a fairly comprehensive collection of Animal Welfare related statutes and published case reports.



SHG Press Releases



"Animal Rights & the Future of the Pet Industry"

This is a presentation made to theOrnamental Aquatic Trade Association by Chris Newman of the Reptile and Exotic Pet Trade Association.



A lawyers Summary and Critique
of the
forthcoming Animal Welfare Bill



This petition has now closed with a total of 2027 signatures, there has now been a response from the Government it can be found here with the wording of the petition:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Hold a public enquiry into the policies and running of the RSPCA.



Campaign for change in the RSPCA



Notes from
FoBAS: The Federation of British Animal Sanctuaries

Most of the large Animal Welfare Organisations welcome the New Animal Welfare Bill
so why are so many smaller
Animal Sanctuaries starting to come together to openly oppose it?



Deer dies after RSPCA breakdown in communication

RSPCA under fire as deer is rescued



RSPCA Court losses February.


Birds were 'sexually frustrated' court told

Parrot owners cleared of mistreating birds

Innocent pig lover hits back



RSPCA Court losses March.


One horse case in East Anglia
(Anonymity requested)


Two years and £50,000 later,
ordeal of policeman who put
dying cat out of its misery is finally over

Cleared by a District Judge.
The RSPCA appeal the decision to the High Court.
Cleared by the High Court.



Make Money the RSPCA way




They commissioned it and tried to bury it
when it did not tell them what they wanted to hear!




A report to the RSPCA on the nature and status
of the reptile and amphibian pet trade between 1980 and 1992.


Andrew C. Smart & Ian G. Bride

The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology,
University of Kent at Canterbury.


Their Recommendations



And another one they tried to lose!




The Animal Welfare Bill


Still unconvinced....?
RSPCA Policy Statement.



Below is a press cutting from the The Guardian Weekend May 24 1997.
It provides a general introduction to the concerns raised by the other organisations on this site

Within this article you will find links to many of the concerned organisations listed below. It is now old but nothing has changed except the amounts of money in the bank have increased.



An Alternative Vet's Eye View of the RSPCA

This site is down at the moment but you can view it at on the link below:



Cage & Aviary
Letters to the editor.



Would you keep a horse in these conditions?
The RSPCA have.





BEVA Statement

"Equine cruelty cases, the RSPCA and veterinary surgeons"



You have eaten it, now find out how it lived.





Kangaroo courts, muzzled
watchdogs and fat cat bosses this really the RSPCA

The Mail on Sunday June 17, 2001



Welsh Association of Licensed Kennels.

Lots of different RSPCA related links here!!




From Australia


Mirrored Site

The original site has been removed



Mirrored Site

The original site has been removed



What Rights do the RSPCA have?

Do they have a right of entry?

Do they have a right to demand answers?

Do they have a right to confiscate and remove?

Do they have any official rights at all?

Do they have any legal standing?





How the RSPCA
forced the formation of Gwent Animal Rescue.



The RSPCA have done it again, put a family cat to sleep, then asked for a donation to-- "the charity"?



Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,
1932 and Amendments.



Tribute to Tommy

 "On Monday 6th September 1999, the tortoise living at 10 Morrison Avenue was seen at midday going up the garden by it's owner Mrs. Eve Barker. That was the last time she saw it."



The truth behind the public smile

"In recent months we have become somewhat disenchanted with an old and much-loved British institution,............................"



Swansea Poster

Some RSPCA members from South Wales were so incensed about the vast amounts of money that is being hoarded by HQ. that they had this poster printed and circulated it around Wales. The RSPCA threatened libel action but was unable to proceed as the posters told the truth.



A commentary
on the

Richard Martin Awards 2003




Dealing with the RSPCA

A solicitors view









Farm Animal Welfare.

Parliament decided, many years ago, that such organisations as the RSPCA would not be given powers to deal with offences under theabove Act. Such powers of arrest and seizure of animals were given to, and remain with, the police. Nevertheless, the officers of the RSPCA wear uniforms, are designated by a rank structure, are supported by a large legal and public relations organisation and are generally left, by the police, to attend to allegations concerning animals.



Cat condemned to death was suffering from blood-sucking fleas

A PET-loving family claim an RSPCA inspector ordered them to put down their beloved cat when it was only suffering from fleas.



RSPCA Told to Put Human Needs Before Animal Pain

From Campfire 1996 but it still holds true now!

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Britain's oldest animal welfare organisation but a recent convert to animal rights, has been instructed by the commission which oversees UK charities to stop campaigning against activities of benefit to man.



This section archives press reports that have disappeared from this page.



It is hoped to have this link working in it's original form in the next few days.




Welsh Animals Guardian



If you have any suggestions for additions to the links above, please mail us.
Please keep an eye on this site, as we receive items they will be added.




If you can mirror this Animadversion site please do so.