Monday, April 16, 2012

Tony Woodley and the RSPCA's stance on campaigning

I think Tony Woodley's latest contribution to the debate on TwitLonger about the Grand National is so important, not just with reference to racing, but generally, that I'm reproducing it here.

#RSPCA works with organisations to improve welfare.  
"It's better to be in the tent than outside it shouting in". 
We have used this ethos in the way we work to greatly influence the law makers and policy makers affecting animal welfare since 1824 when we were founded.  
We work with the farm and research animal industries and have brought about massive changes in animal welfare in those areas. The respect as a legal and reasonable organisation that we have with authorities such as the Government, DEFRA, Police etc means we do get listened to and changes, though they may be slow, do get made. 
If we were to simply walk away from an issue saying we 100% disagree and so will then just campaign for it to end, we would lose that respect we have and effectively 'abandon' the animals and leave them with no independent body trying to improve their welfare. 
There are other organisation who may wish to carry out extreme and/or illegal acts in the area of animal welfare, that is not us and if we did become extreme and/or acting illegally, we would not have the influence we do have. 
It may not always bring about swift changes but it does bring about long term and effective change, for example the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which the RSPCA was hugely involved with drafting and is the best thing to happen for animal welfare for many many years. 
I hope this assists some with understanding how we work. 
I can't stress enough the vital importance of Tony's comment that to walk away is to abandon the animals.

Otherwise, continual very light blogging I'm afraid, due to the combination of our approaching annual audit and weekend duty at our charity shops.