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.