Posts Tagged ‘RSPCA’

I’m very much of the opinion that when powerful lobbying group turn their guns in your direction you have in fact been effective and they perceive you as a threat. This was very much the case with regards to the RSPCA and the concerted smear campaign against them and their then Chief Executive, Gavin Grant, by the Countryside Alliance.

Successful prosecutions against illegal hunts, most notably the Heythrop (which David Cameron rode with) were huge victories against the aminal abusers and those that support them. The Gavin Grant, took the RSPCA in a direction which encompassed more than just rescuing badly treated pets and took on all forms of animal cruelty. They came out against the pointless badger cull and actively went after the hunts who were openly flouting the Hunting with Dogs Act which was passed in 2004. Obviously this didn’t go down too well with those on the opposing side of the argument and he finally left through ill health. There are suggestions that this was brought on by the constant attacks and threats of legal action by the CA and the NFU, groups which hold significant funds and the power in which to prosecute their personal agenda.

So in comes the new CE of the RSPCA, Jeremy Cooper, a man with a history in supermarket management.

And one of the first statements he makes to the Daily Telegraph, a publication known for its sympathies towards the Tories and hunting, is this:

“We care as equally about badgers as we do about dairy cows. Calls for naming and shaming of farmers who shoot badgers is not helpful. We don’t have an issue with the need to manage badgers. It is the method. Foxes need to be managed as well. It is about humanely managing the animals. We recognise that dairy cows suffered problems and badgers need to be managed.”

Now correct me if I’m wrong but that sounds like something written directly by the CA’s own PR machine. It is quite frankly a disgrace and shows not only a lack of balls but also a complete lack of understanding of basic ecology. The CA and NFU must be mutually masturbating each other right now (sorry for that image), Tim Bonner et al all positively gleaming from ear to ear , they have their man in place and their vendetta against the RSPCA has finally bore fruit.


Jeremy Cooper – The CA’s new boy.

It is of course a complete disaster for anyone with any compassion for our wildlife. Every scientist in the land with knowledge of the issue has come out and stated on the record that culling badgers is not the way to go in dealing with the bTB issue and statistic in the cull zones show once more an increase in bTB even after 3 years of culling (perhaps Jeremy Cooper knows better) and foxes certainly do not need controlling as once again science proves they are a self regulating predator whose numbers are dictated by the availability of food and territory. If foxes needed controlling why do the hunts breed them?

He goes on to say:

“My style of advocacy is encouragement and dialogue. The [previous] leadership was too adversarial. If you want to shout and use rhetoric that’s fine but it isn’t helpful to anybody. It is not going to make friends and influence people. People won’t like you for it.”

In other words he’s not going to ruffle any feathers and cosey up to the CA and NFU. Perhaps they made a big donation to get their man in place, heavens knows they’ll need it as no doubt this will not go down well with the masses of people to send them their hard earned cash to protect our wildlife. If the comments from the story in the Independent are anything to go by they’ll need every penny they can get.

He added:

“The charity would be focussing on the prevention of cruelty, rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming in the future”. 

Prevention of cruelty. Surely one of the biggest injustices going on in our countryside every week throughout the hunting season is the cruelty meted out by those controlling hounds and riding a horse?

I believe a person holding these views should have no place in the RSPCA let alone be CE. If you feel the same the please sign the petition to have him removed here.


Oh dear. Not what you’d call good PR in light of recent news stories regarding the Royals and their wildlife saving credentials (also reported here) however I doubt any of those involved actually give any kind of a toss. Over 7000 wild birds and animals were killed on the Windsor Estate last year, figures from FIO request by Animal Aid show.  It really is staggering the level of killing that goes on, not just in the Royal parks and gardens but throughout the countryside. It’s endemic of the attitudes of those employed to manage these estates, it’s a killing culture and until that changes then the slaughter will sadly continue.

The Killing Fields?

The Killing Fields?

Let’s have a look at the numbers.

Pigeons 3,901, Rabbits 1,161, Jackdaws 772, Squirrels 325, Crows 191, Foxes 159, Rats 145, Muntjac 127, Parakeets 118, Magpies 70, Roe 56, Rooks 55, Hares 28, Jays 9, Moles 9, Mink 3.

Now let’s analyse the so called justification used for all that killing.

Foxes – Killed to save game birds. Well here we go again. I’m getting a bit fed up with this argument. Millions of pheasants are intensively reared each year and released into the countryside with little hope of survival if they’re not blasted out of the air by a toff wearing tweed or Barbour. Losing a few to Basil the Brush isn’t going to make any kind of a dent in the profits and removing a self-regulating (population wise) native predator is counterproductive as well as morally repugnant.

Corvids (Crows, Magpies, Rooks and Jays) – Removed (pfft . . . slaughtered more like) at the request of tenant farmers. I’ll tackle these all in one go as they’re very similar. Corvids are highly intelligent and capable of advanced problem solving and using tools. Because of this they’re highly adaptable and successful. They tend to get demonised (even by some bird watchers) for their egg & young bird predation (particularly the Magpie) however they’re not the cause in the decline of our songbird species. That’s largely due to habitat loss and modern industrial farming methods. They also eat lots of what farmers would deem as invertebrate pests so getting rid of them is a huge case of shooting yourself in your welly boot clad foot from the farmers point of view. Again, no justification there.

Moles – Killed to preserve the formal parks and sports ground. You can remove Moles humanely without the need to kill them and if you’re do damn precious about your lawn put an underground Mole fence round it to stop them getting in in the first place. A humane Mole trap only costs a fiver or so and I’m pretty sure the Royal estates aren’t short for a bob or two.

Hares – Just shot for sport I guess. I’ve covered this already (see link in first para) so won’t do it all again but despite a biodiversity action plan in place to reverse the trend in their decline they have little protection and while the estates are managed by a pro shooting manager then little will change.



Pigeons & Rabbits – At the request of tenant farmers. While common as species I doubt they do any real significant damage in the grand scheme of things and can’t help but think most were shot for the enjoyment of shooting a living wild target. It’s easy to put bird scarers up that’ll keep hungry beaks away from your crops.

Deer & Squirrels – At the request of the foresters. Well the Grey Squirrel is an invasive species but it’s here to stay now and while they can cause some damage I doubt killing them will be particularly effective. I think if they were encroaching on the native Red Squirrel habitat then there could be a justification but sadly the Red was pushed out of that part of England a long time ago. The killing of Deer will be justified by claiming a lack of apex predators to control numbers. Apex predators’ humans decimated a long time ago. We’re now just moving down the food chain as species bite the dust one by one. It’s a totally unsustainable process and has to stop.

Just to note, the Crown Estate’s net revenue surplus (profit) for the year that ended 31 March 2013 was £252.6 million. The Windsor portfolio is valued at £204million. I think they can afford to change.

While I’m having a whinge I noted that during the NFU conference this week (minus Paterson who still in hiding and wimping out) that farmers were still keen to get on with the slaughter of a protected species. Not only that but expected the tax payer to foot the bill. Well they can fuck off quite frankly. I’m not going to pay for you to free up land so you can make more money. George Useless sitting in for Paterson claims any decision on the roll out of the cull will be based on science, that’s it ladies and gents, you heard it first here – THERE WILL BE NO CULL.

But their science seems to be different from everyone else’s.

A final note about Gavin Grant who will step down as Chief Executive of the RSPCA due to a health issue. Gavin was often claimed by those who sought to discredit the organisation (The Countryside Alliance & its support) as controversial and leading the RSPCA into animal rights. Well cruelty is a right every animal should not to have to suffer regardless of whether it’s Tiddles the tabby, Flossy the sheep or indeed a Fox. Hopefully his replacement will be equally proactive and I hope Gavin returns to full health soon