Thursday, January 17, 2013

Not sure whether to laugh or cry...

In one corner of the Internet, furious people repeat the claim that, "The RSPCA kills HALF the animals it rescues." 

In another corner, people with apparently rather similar interests are suggesting rescues ought to kill all animals who can't be rehomed pretty much immediately and all animals needing any significant amount of veterinary treatment.

Humans aren't consistent creatures, but a bit more of an attempt at sensible perspective would go a long way towards improving the quality of life for humans and animals in this country.

The RSPCA is absolutely bedevilled by attempts to divert a general purpose animal protection organisation into single-minded focus on whatever issue happens to be the special interest of the person doing the diversion, whether it be rabbits, ragwort, ferrets, vivisection or vegetarianism. This is further complicated by those who don't particularly care what the Society concentrates on so long as it doesn't turn a reforming eye on their activities — whether their activity is dog breeding, hunting, intensive farming or whatever. This group ultimately don't care what damage they do to the practical animal welfare work which forms three-quarters of the RSPCA's activities; in fact they may welcome it because it is the practical work which gives the RSPCA much of its clout as a campaigning and educating body.

In some ways an unbiassed external investigation into the RSPCA might be no bad thing for animals because it couldn't avoid also being an investigation into the interest groups which would like to reduce the Society to an organisation which runs shelters for domestic pets and never tackles the root causes of any animal issues. 

Ironically this might not affect the hunting issue very much (although I think there are a lot of questions to be answered about the way the hunting lobby seems to have been able to manipulate several national newspapers). 

The dysfunctional state of the dog "industry" affects many more members of the general public—whether through the cost and heart-break involved in purchasing a puppy who is doomed to die young, or simply through the fact that most British dogs will be pets but most British dogs will not be bred with a view to being successful pets. 

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