Saturday, August 24, 2013

Good old days? The RSPCA in 1972

In 1972 Liverpool branch alone had to put down 7,240 stray cats out of a total of 8,000 taken in

30 years later only 812 cats were put down for lack of homes over the whole of the RSPCA including all the branches.

New homes found 1972 2012
Cats 28,15630,202

Cruelty complaints 1972 2012
Complaints investigated 23,864150,833
Cautions/improvement notices4,02878,090

The ratio of convictions to cruelty complaints has actually gone down over the 30 years between 1972 and the present day. The most striking difference is the proportion of complaints which were resolved by issuing improvement notices in the 2012 figures.

Many aspects of life in the 1972 RSPCA are very familiar. The Society was engaged in a very active (and for a time successful) campaign to stop the export of live food animals. The British Field Sports Society (forerunner of today's Countryside Alliance) was threatening to challenge the RSPCA's charitable status if it proceeded with a campaign against coursing of hares. And everyone was desperately promoting neutering to reduce euthanasia of healthy animals.

(Source: Anthony Brown, Who Cares for Animals: 150 years of the RSPCA, (London: Heinemann, 1974)