Booker on the RSPCA

Well, whadda you know. When a private group, with no accountability, gets the power to prosecute, they are over zealous in doing so.

Not really all that much of a surprise, is it?

The Self-Help Group of farmers and others has existed for nearly two decades to put anyone experiencing difficulty with the RSPCA in touch with specialist welfare lawyers and vets. They have never been busier and cite scores of other instances in recent years. None is more shocking than that of PC Jonathan Bell, a Stoke-on-Trent policeman who in 2004 was called to a night-time disturbance where a cat had been squashed flat by a car. The RSPCA could not be contacted, so he put the cat out of its misery with a spade.

PC Bell was prosecuted for cruelty by the RSPCA and the case dragged on for two years, at a cost of £50,000. After his initial acquittal, the RSPCA appealed. Finally, in April 2006, the High Court threw out the case, prompting the Federation of Companion Animal Societies to comment that some of the RSPCA\’s prosecutions "seem to have a political agenda" rather than being concerned with "animal welfare". The growing number of people who fall foul of that agenda would heartily agree.

5 thoughts on “Booker on the RSPCA”

  1. We need a Charity with the task of using publicity and law suits to rein in the excesses of the other charities.

  2. Finally, some publicity for this! This is why, despite being an animal lover, I’d put my spare cash in the waste disposal rather than give it to the RSPCA.

  3. I would like to start a charity called Charity Watch. Its brief would be too investigate and audit the abuses and profligacy of charities. For instance, I read the other day that workers (I would say employees) of Shelter, the housing charity, were going on strike because the management wanted them to increase from a 35-hour week to a 37.5-hour week. There were also plans to stop the automatic annual increment of their salaries. Cost of living yes, but automatic increase, no.

    So I decided to dig a little. I wasn’t sure how much income Shelter had. It turns out that its annual income is £49 million. Of that, the large bulk is spent on specialist employees who provide free legal advice to solicitors dealing with housing cases. Now, the majority of that work will be done under legal aid, for which the solicitor is being paid. Shelter gets government grants to dispense this advice. The tax payer is, therefore, paying twice for the same advice.

    Just imagine how many flats or houses you could build or subsidize for £49 million. Shelter like so many charities, exists for the benefit of its employees. It’s a scandal that needs exposing. Charities need to be as accountable as private businesses are. Anyone interested in joining in with me?

    Tim adds: Would be enormous fun to do it: but who would we raise our money from?

  4. No problem. We’d get funding from the Charity Commission. How dare they even contemplate refusing us?

  5. Yes MarkS, I can well remember Shelter & The Notting Hill Housing Trust that preceded it.

    Didn’t take me long to realise that the people who were getting the pick of the ‘housing for the homeless’ were those that were pally with the organisers. The definition of ‘homeless’ could be remarkably flexible as well. Hence now we read of stalwarts of the left who have been living in desirable Kensington mews cottages for decades & wonder at how lucky they were.
    It’s nice to know things haven’t changed.

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