- By Norman Fine
Police Chiefs in the UK have called for an end to prosecutions of animal abuse cases by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Recently, some RSPCA employees with extreme views on animal rights have brought the once reputable organization to a new low.
Employees of the society took the Byrnes Family cat without legal authority to do so. They put the cat down, prosecuted the family for animal abuse, but the evidence presented was insufficient to convince the court. The Byrnes Family won their case, but lost their cat. The children never had a chance to say goodbye to their pet.
Foxhunting Life has reported on prosecutions of foxhunts brought by the RSPCA. The society brings to the courts eighty percent of all prosecutions under the Hunting Act, spends enormous amounts of donors’ monies to prosecute the cases, and loses seventy-eight percent of the prosecutions due to insufficient evidence.
In 2013 the RSPCA was estimated to have spent at least a half million pounds of charitable funds on prosecutions against hunts. The charity was criticized by judges of the court after spending more than three hundred thousand pounds prosecuting the Heythrop hunt. Income from donations to the RSPCA have since cratered by seven million pounds in one year, prompting the charity to cut jobs and restructure.
According to The Telegraph, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) says: “For some considerable time the RSPCA have assumed the default role of prosecutor for offences under the Act and have done so outside of a statutory framework with no powers.
“Their long standing good work and expertise in this area should of course be recognised but it ought to be right that the primary enforcer with responsibility for this area should be a single agency, preferably a statutory body funded by Government.
“With this would come greater governance and accountability along with a right to review prosecution decisions in with all other criminal offences.”
Simon Hart, a Tory member of the committee and former chief executive of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, is reported as saying, “There is increasing recognition that trying to be a political movement, tireless fund raiser and voracious prosecutor has resulted in a conflict that we would not accept in any other walk of life.
“There are numerous examples of other countries and wild life charities that do good work, but who rely on the police and criminal justice system to implement the law.
“If the RSPCA were to hand over its prosecuting role to the police and CPS it would begin to repair its tattered reputation.”
The RSPCA continues to argue against the NPCC recommendations. Click for more.
Posted April 30, 2016