|NEWSLETTER NUMBER 24 APRIL 1991
TEL: 0293 786166
RSPCA COUNCIL ELECTIONS
MORE COUNCIL TIME SHOULD BE SPENT ON MATTERS RELATING TO ANIMAL PROTECTION. In all the Watchdog newsletters, no secret has been made of the fact that there is still a need for a continually improving council.
THERE MUST BE AN END to internal squabbling, the spreading of untrue gossip about members and the expulsion and rejection of members at branch and national level. The expulsion of the WATCHDOG FIVE was a shameful episode - it was unjust and it was inept. Watchdog would like to recommend candidates who have shown that they are concerned about human AND animal’s rights. We recommend that you vote for:-
DOROTHY ADAMS ++ ROY FORSTER ++ CELIA HAMMOND ++ BILL JORDAN
REMEMBER you can just vote for FOUR candidates ONLY.
A SAD STORY FROM AN RSPCA MEMBER
"Upon moving to my new address, I found that my bedroom overlooked a backyard (some distance away). This was the backyard of a shop and contained a very large German Shepherd dog. He had a kennel but harldy6 any room to move around, only a few square feet. My constant observation showed me that this dog was NEVER taken out of this yard and I was very concerned that such a large dog should be confined in such a small space with no exercise.
I contacted my local RSPCA inspector - well, let me say I tried to contact him. After many many phone calls over a couple of months, I finally had to ring his supervisor and not being able to contact him either, finally got to the superintendent (or someone a lot higher).
After assuring me that this would be looked into and that I would be contacted re the outcome I NEVER got a call despite many many more telephone calls over say 6/8 weeks, Finally, I managed to speak to the Superintendent again who expressed concern that I had not been contacted (because I had offered to take the dog for walks myself) he assured me that the local officer would contact me and that he would follow it up, but he assured me that the premises had been visited and the dog had been found to be "fit", very unfortunately it did not have enough room to exercise but that the RSPCA could not enforce any regulations simply because the dog may be mentally affected.
I could not understand this but the gentleman insisted that there were no provisions to deal with mental cruelty and although the dog did not have enough room to exercise he was not becoming physically abused and so there was nothing else they could do. I NEVER heard from the local inspector.
During the course of my many and frequent phone calls trying to get the local inspector I, on two occasions spoke to a lady who seemed to be in charge of the local council centres. She was particularly insistent that I give her all the details and gave me the impression that the local inspector could not be bothered with such an issue - when I got rather angry with her attitude she asked me if I was "one of those animal liberation people".
I will just add another little story gleaned from the radio recently, an RSPCA representative was being interviewed about cruelty to fish - he said all the right things, re fish could feel pain etc. but then he went on to say that game fish were different and that because game fish were not in the position of being put back to be fished up again that this was entirely different and to complicate matters even further he said that fish were better off being caught and killed than being put back.
So far RSPCA PUBLIC RELATIONS NIL - credibility NIL.
COMMENT What happened to that dog during the bitterly cold snow storms? Did snow drive into the kennel? Was not the RSPCA left £2,000,000 to be used for prosecutions only? What about using some of that vast sum to attempt a prosecution for mental cruelty? MRS. FELTHOUSE WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS?
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"we never say no to a call for help."
RSPCA Appeal Literature.
Selfless acts hearten
FEBRUARY 15th 1991
When the badness of some people is seen to be far outweighed by the goodness in others, it is surely a time that restores faith in human nature and uplifts the spirit.
Such an occasion took place by the side of the River Trent on a Sunday afternoon recently, when my youngest son, his wife and daughter, left their car in Millgate carpark. Looking over the wall they saw a young kitten desperately fighting for its life, frantically clawing the wall in panic and fear in an effort to get clear of the water.
A lady was leaning over the wall dangling her scarf towards the cat trying to get it to grip the scarf so she could pull it up to safety. But it was futile, the cat was fast becoming exhausted and its struggles weakening.
With great presence of mind the lady lowered a ladder into the water and without a thought for her own safety climbed down to reach the little animal. My son held the ladder firm from the top until she could get a grip on the kitten to lift it to safety.
No one knows who this lady was, although it was said that she was on a visit from Lincoln at the time. But I doff my had to her, she was certainly a brave soul and worthy of more thanks than she received because she was not to be found afterwards.
My son and family then found themselves in possession of a half-drowned kitten which no one else wanted so the brought it round to my home nearby.
My son started to telephone around to try to get help for this poor hapless creature. First he telephoned the police who responded by giving telephone contact numbers.
First on the list was the RSPCA in Radcliffe. Sorry, they could not help, but gave an ‘emergency’ number in Nottingham. This number was then contacted, but we were told we ought to have rung an ‘emergency’ number in Newark.
My son did this only to be informed that the person required was out.
What now? Frustration was beginning to show, emergency numbers were no use, the bigger services seemed impotent. I wonder why? Was it because it was a Sunday, or was it because it ‘was only a cat?’
But my son’s persistence paid off, and in some desperation he got back to the RSPCA in Radcliffe. They said they would call us back, which they did later on and said that the kitten was to be taken to Mr. Owen, veterinary surgeon , on King’s Road.
He was kindness itself and after examining the kitten said that t was in shock and its muscles had stopped working. He gave the animals an injection to counter its condition.
We know the RSPCA and other bodies do sterling work, but why is there not a central local point of contact for the public?
Meanwhile, if anyone has lost a young ginger striped cat with a blue collar, please contact this address. - T. W. ASLIN, 12 Millgate, Newark.
"WE NEVER SAY NO TO A CALL FOR HELP?"
(Mrs. Felthouse take note)
OH TO BE A CORMORANT IN THE GULF
Many of us must have been impressed that the RSPCA went to the rescue of the oiled birds in the Gulf. I was therefore sure that help would be forthcoming when a young cormorant came down in the High Street of my home area in Kent. On picking up this sad little soul I rang my local RSPCA General Headquarters only to be told that they did not deal with such things and could not help. I was driven to ask whether if I covered the cormorant in oil and transported it to the Gulf would more interest be taken. This comment was met by understandable silence. Luckily I found a very good person outside the RSPCA who gave me advice on care and treatment and the bird was duly released to a nearby estuary.
Come on RSPCA cormorants in this country have rights
to protection as well as those in the Gulf.
A MEMBER WRITES
"I allowed my membership to lapse a few years ago because I was so disgusted when it was passed at the AGM by a strong vote for the RSPCA to help with the neutering of all animals and I was naive enough to believe that as this was a members’ vote, that it had to happen.
I didn’t know anything about agreements with the Veterinary Society an if I had I would still have thought that the members’ vote came first. When I discovered how wrong I was, I resented paying my membership fee.
I have a friend who gives me a copy of Watchdog as soon as she has read it and you were kind enough to print a letter for me when I had a problem with my local RSPCA branch and a bird in pain.
I am sending the money to rejoin the RSPCA to Horsham today. I would like to become a member again so that I can give my support to a group of people who are strong enough to take on problems at the top of the organisation and yet still stay in such close contact with the animals who need their help so much at this time. Thank you Watchdog for being this very select group of people."
MRS. ANNE C. HAUGHIE, BATLEY.
In Watchdog 23, a letter sent to the Batley News by Mrs. Anne Haughie was published. Mrs. Haughie has written to Watchdog and said:-
"I now receive every co-operation at both headquarters and local level to ensure that wherever possible feral cats are neutered and returned to their colonies. I have achieved a good working relationship with the local branch and the Inspectorate together with some generous funding from Headquarters towards neutering a large colony previously doomed for destruction."
This must be good news for all members struggling AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE to neuter feral cats. These members should write to Headquarters asking for the same "generous funding" that Mrs. Haughie received.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Haughie has accused Watchdog of printing her letter without her knowledge or consent and has sent copies of her criticism to RSPCA Headquarters and to the Regional HQ Leeds.
Watchdog considers that ANY letter published in a newspaper can be reproduced WITHOUT reference to the writer. However, Watchdog DID receive anonymously a copy of a letter written to Mr. P. Clarke, secretary of the Wakefield and District RSPCA branch by Mrs. Haughie. In it are serious criticisms of RSPCA staff. Watchdog has NOT published this letter NOR quoted from it. As Mrs. Haughie has criticised Watchdog for publishing a public letter, perhaps she should explain how and why this private letter was circulated. Did she circulate it and inform Mr. Clarke that she was doing so?
Many members have written to Watchdog complaining about the telephone campaign. Great distress was caused to one member when the caller asked to speak to her husband who had died a year ago. Telephone calls are an intrusion into the private life of members and the RSPCA Council members should have the sensitivity to appreciate this.
How much of the advertising is either untrue or grossly misleading as in the case of Inspector Robert the "INVISIBLE MAN"?
JOIN THE RSPCA (if you are allowed in)
ANIMAL ABUSERS NOT NECESSARILY REJECTED
HAVE THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME ++ UNBELIEVABLE ++ BETTER FUN THAN THE WAR GAMES
Work hard for animals - raise a lot of money - be honest and enthusiastic AND become a target for disciplinary action.
Give 30 years of your life to the RSPCA and then get expelled. Witness the incredible disciplinary "trials" - see the Council in action. Observe fellow members reduced to tears by the injustice of their treatment.
Petwatch has reported that the RSPCA press office has told the Reading Evening Post that "there is a legitimate trade in cat furs through veterinary surgeons".
Is the RSPCA saying that vets are passing or selling their clients’ pets bodies to the fur trade?
Would Council members ask the veterinary representatives from the BVA and the Royal College whether it is policy to sell their clients’ pets bodies to the fur trade? This is a question you should ask Mrs. Felthouse at the AGM. We hope that members will also ask her about the remark rumoured to have been made at the Regional Conference that all feral cats should be killed.
In fact there is a lot that members can do at the AGM. Ask D. J. Spikins why he wanted Watchdog silenced. Members have a RIGHT to have their questions answered.
HUNTERS GALORE IS LORD STANLEY AN RSPCA MEMBER?
"Lord Stanley, who acts as parliamentary spokesman in the Lords for the National Farmers’ union (NFU), believes that because farming is a business, debate about animal welfare has to consider financial realities".
From an article called "LORD STANLEY" in ANIMAL LIFE Spring 1991
Lord Stanley supports hunting and shooting as well as the RSPCA’s Dog Registration scheme. Because he supported registration he was given a two page "profile" in the RSPCA’s ANIMAL LIFE.
WATCHDOG ASKS WHY???
Lord Stanley’s interest in dog registration is clearly because he would prefer his sheep to die in a slaughter house.
What odd bedfellows the RSPCA DOG REGISTRATION scheme has - in the House of Commons, they had Michael Colwin MP, supporter of fox hunting and one of the pro hunting MPs who tried to talk out the BADGER SETT PROTECTION BILL. In the House of Lords, they had Lord Stanley, supporter of hunting and shooting and who appears from the passage quoted above to support profits before animal welfare.
WATCHDOG believes that REGISTRATION is repressive and by itself UNREALISTIC.
YEARS and YEARS have been wasted by the Council because of the agreement the RSPCA has with the BVA. YEARS and YEARS when the numbers of unwanted dogs have escalated for want of cheap spaying and neutering.
Has the RSPCA an agreement with the NFU on hunting?
WATCHDOG WANTS THE COUNCIL TO CONCENTRATE ON
EDUCATION +++++STERILISATION +++++SPENDING MONEY NOT HOARDING
PETTY GOSSIP++ DISINFORMATION++
VICTIMISATION OF INNOCENT MEMBERS
COPIES OF WATCHDOG ARE SENT TO THE RSPCA
CHIEF EXECUTIVE WHO CIRCULATES COPIES TO ALL COUNCIL MEMBERS.
TRANSPORT OF ANIMALS
Watchdog has received an extract from the European Select Committee dealing with the protection of animals during transport. Watchdog supporters will be interested to learn the views on the maximum journey limits received from the various groups that submitted written evidence.
BRITISH VETERINARY ASSOCIATION considered that no animal destined for slaughter should be transported for more than 8 hours after which a rest period of TEN HOURS should be required. Pigs in purpose built vehicles were excluded from this recommendation. The BVA is opposed to the export of live animals for immediate slaughter.
WORLD FARMING would prefer a 6 HOUR maximum journey
but would be prepared to accept 8 HOURS.
RSPCA NO DECISION ON JOURNEY LIMITS except that a 24 HOUR PERIOD IS EXCESSIVE.
Animals going for breeding or feeding:-
Rest periods of 6 - 8 hours following journeys of 8 HOURS for horses and 12 HOURS for cattle, sheep, pigs, goats etc.
MEAT AND LIVESTOCK COMMISSION, NFU SCOTLAND
ROAD HAULAGE ASSOCIATION
Their favoured approach was a 12 HOUR journey limit.
NFU NO UPPER LIMIT ON JOURNEYS FOR CATTLE AND SHEEP. FOR PIGS A 24 HOUR LIMIT.
BOTH NFUs CONSIDER THE IMPOSITION OF MAXIMUM JOURNEY LIMITS TO BE IN SOME RESPECTS IMPRACTICAL.
Is it not a disgrace that the RSPCA seems from the document prepared to accept longer transport times than either the VETERINARY PROFESSION or that respected organisation COMPASSION IN WORLD FARMING?
One RSPCA member has said to Watchdog that she understood that a member of the RSPCA staff, who is a professional vet, said at the AGM that the RSPCA would be pursuing a 6 HOUR limit.
AN EXPLANATION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO RSPCA MEMBERS AT THE AGM IN JUNE 1991
Thank you for all your letters and phone calls and for your support and approval of WATCHDOG. We are grateful for any financial support that you can give to help WATCHDOG to bark. WATCHDOGS will be at the AGM and WATCHDOGS are on the Council so surely things MUST improve soon.
THE WATCHDOG SECRETARIAT
Poster ‘putting horses at risk’
Sunday Express 31/3/91
Animal Welfare groups claim an RSPCA poster is putting British horses at risk of being exported for meat in Europe, writes Oonagh Blackman.
At present only live farm animals are exported, under regulations ensuring they are fed and watered during the journey. Horses are not included because they are not farm animals.
But the RSPCA’s poster, showing a horse being slaughtered, calls for the transportation of live animals to be restricted to journeys of a maximum eight hours. And the welfare campaigners say that by including horses, the RSPCA has opened the door for their live export.
Mr. John Bullock, editor of Equine Welfare Magazine, said: "The EC supporters of live trade will make a lot of noise about how the British are in favour of transporting live horses as long as the journey is under eight hours"
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "Although we used a picture of a horse, we do not mention horses in the text."
RSPCA invents perfect inspector in cash plea
The Sunday Express
by John Coates
NO ANIMAL welfare officer works as hard as Inspector J Roberts of the RSPCA.
For nearly six years, he has been putting in 11-hour days and working long weekends in the battle against cruelty.
All that time the society has been sending millions of begging letters - asking for funds: so that Inspector Roberts and his 270 colleagues can keep up the good fight.
Last year, two and a half million letters were sent to members of the public - and £1 million raised.
Appeals were accompanied by extracts from the inspector’s diary, listing long hours worked and detailing many visits he made. They also included reference to several recent RSPCA prosecutions.
In his latest fund raising letter, the society’s campaign director Gavin Grant writes: "Inspector Roberts’s diary came as a surprise, even to me. It’s not uncommon for our inspectors to be working seven days a week and very long hours, too."
PUSSY IS TELLING GAVIN THAT WATCHDOGS ARE BUGGING HIS MOBILE TELEPHONE
But Inspector J Roberts does not exist - he is a fund-raising gimmick. The diary is also an invention, with the same entries reused month after month. The prosecutions are more than six years old.
"It’s an insult to all hardworking RSPCA Inspectors," said Angela Walder, a former society council member. "People would think twice about sending in money if they knew that names had been made up."
Inspector Roberts was exposed as fiction after Watchdog, an organisation which monitors the society’s activities, tried to contact him at his office in Telford, Shropshire. Watchdog had compared appeal letters sent out in three different months last year and found that Roberts had made identical entries in his diary.
He had also managed to talk on pet care to "Lower Dean Primary School" on August 10, when pupils would have been on holiday.
Watchdog’s Margaret House said: "RSPCA supporters are being cheated by falsified advertising material."
The Sunday Express contacted the society’s Telford office about Inspector Roberts. Regional manager Mike Hartley said: "You can’t talk to him. I think he’s left us now."
Asked about Lower Dean Primary School, he replied: "It’s not in Telford. I’ll get someone to ring you back."
The RSPCA later confirmed that Inspector Roberts was fictional. Spokeswoman Amanda Avis maintained that every incident was real but that the diary was "an amalgum of several inspectors’ notebooks giving a representative picture.
Names and locations have been changed for reasons of confidentiality."
The affair is the third controversy involving the RSPCA’s campaign office. Two years ago, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint over an advertisement featuring a pile of dead dogs following the abolition of licences.
Last November, the ASA forced the society to withdraw another advertisement - protesting against the condition of animals transported to slaughter houses. It showed a dead pony on a meat hook.
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