Question Time!

On Thursday the head of the RSPCA press office is coming to see me. The recent Channel 4 news item seems to be the catalyst for our first meeting in 20 years of publishing this magazine. Click here for that blog.
I'd like to ask some meaningful questions and wonder if anyone out there has any suggestions for questions they'd like answering?
Thursday is a huge day for the country, obviously - but our animal charities are unelected and maybe we need them to tell us what their manifesto is before we leave them our hard-earned cash.
What questions would you ask to ascertain how your money should be spent?
I think the crux of the debate is what it is that we think the RSPCA is and does it match up to who they are?
Do we want them to prevent cruelty or just to prosecute after the event?
Should being the animal police force be their USP? Or do we think they should be a lot more than that?
Does their branch structure need reform so that when we leave money to the generic RSPCA it is spread more evenly across all the work the charity does rather than most of the money going to central costs.
Is it time to split the charity into tough policing and the more paternal welfare side?
And what's the story with the use of the captive bolt? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, such a barbaric method in someone's else's hands would surely be the subject of an RSPCA campaign... but the RSPCA seem to be literally standing behind their guns.
Have they lost their way or did they change years ago and we just didn't notice?
Or indeed has there always been a split between to the factions within the charity and we the public just haven't seen the cracks?
Or are we just being mean to the biggest animal welfare charity? Anything that big will have its bad bits and its good bits, their last set of accounts showed a massive 54 million pound loss. How on earth did that happen? Surely a ship that big doesn't make quick movements?
Do send me the questions you would like to see asked?
Failing that - what cakes should we get in for this historic meeting on election day? I sense it could be a maximum Jaffa Cake type occasion.


@Widgetty said…
Why are the wages of their top management at Southwater so high while their local branches are struggling and their hard grafting officers paid so badly?
cambstreasurer said…
"Or are we just being mean to the biggest animal welfare charity?"


The most significant change in the society since the 1950s is an ENORMOUS reduction in euthanasia of healthy animals and much more emphasis on low cost neutering.

If you want a divide between "policing" and "welfare" you already have it to a large extent - the paid professionals do the policing bit and the branches do welfare (with help from the various HQ run shelters and hospitals).

The national Council members are unpaid and elected by the membership - roughly half of them directly by the general membership and half by the branches.

The unreasonable hate some people have for the RSPCA does the greatest amount of damage at branch level because it puts off the competent, knowledgeable dog and cat people needed for efficient fostering, home visiting etc.

Incidentally anyone who wants to leave money to the branches and not to the Society only has to specify that's what they want in their will.

Rant over.
Anonymous said…
Mmm difficult one. We DO need 'animal police' so perhaps the RSPCA should concentrate on this area and leave rescue/rehoming to other charities.
Ronnie said…
Ask them why they ignore they don't do anything practical to help puppy farm dogs. They seem to do nothing but talk about the issue to generate donations?

Puppy farming is the greatest scandal of our time and they have let it continue for decades. Why do they pussyfoot round the issue instead of getting out there and doing something other than chat about it over coffee and biscuits!

Why is it up to groups like our's (who operate on a shoestring) to try to get the disgusting practise out in the open.

The answer will be "our hands are tied" That lame excuse is worn out!
Anonymous said…
Why oh why do they IGNORE repeatedly complaints involving horses and ponies? Their mandate seems to be let it die and then we might??? get a prosecution.They have forgotten what RSPCA stands for P = prevention,keep out of politics and do your job please
winterwren said…
If the RSPCA are looking to become more 'force' led in terms of prosecuting and animal police how will this affect their donations? The extra man power needed to rehome abandoned and unwanted animals will fall to the smaller rescues who do not have the donation pulling power that the rspca do. Will their branches benefit from those donations or will majority go into policing? It is interesting to note what Cambstreasurer has said. I dont think it is widely known that you can state for your donation or legacy goes to the rspca branches rather than the society.
Anonymous said…
When did they decided they were the police and use similar dress codes to the LEGAL police force? Why do they intimidate rather than support those who genuinely don't understand where they're going wrong? Too many times we see on 24/7 people coerced into signing over their animals, instead of working long term with them.
Why are they spending so much money on lobbying and feel the need for External Political officers such as those used by APGAW?
Why do they need such a large head office whilst the branches struggle, why even do the branches have to pay a fee for the use of their title, how does this help any animal?
cambstreasurer said…
"Why are they spending so much money on lobbying"

To get rid of puppy farms?

Similarly with neglect of horses - it's only because of the political action which led to the passing of the Animal Welfare Act that it's possible to act on conditions which are likely to cause suffering before the animal actually loses weight etc.
Ronnie said…
The animal welfare act was meant to help puppy farm dogs,at the end of the day it was useless.

They have had 20 plus years of lobbying that has gotten us nowhere?
Anonymous said…
cambstreasurerthe It is well known that the RSPCA have been given proof of puppy farms with animals in a terrible mess and distress and the RSPCA have done nothing, and it is not a one of.

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