For Immediate Release
27th January 2013
The Self Help Group for Farmers, Pet Owners and Others Experiencing Difficulties with the RSPCA (The SHG) is delighted to learn that Simon Hart MP has tabled a Parliamentary debate on the role of the RSPCA as a private prosecutor.
Anne Kasica of the SHG said:
“The way in which the RSPCA targets vulnerable people, the elderly, the disabled and the mentally ill is already well known.”
“Now we are shining the spotlight onto the way the RSPCA is abusing the rules designed to protect children and to ensure a fair trial, apparently with the questionable aim of raising money in order to plug the gaps in their failing income streams.”
The RSPCA concluded each of their reports on a recent case in the youth court involving three young girls, one of whom is to be tried later this year, with a request for funds. The main article refers readers to a video on the RSPCA You Tube channel. Ironically this video has now been removed for breaching You Tube’s Terms of Service. The RSPCA blog, however, still carries the video which is available for download.
Anne Kasica continued:
“It would seem that You Tube has done far more to protect these children than the RSPCA, a private organisation whose charitable status is linked to the ‘promotion of kindness‘.”
In another case in August 2012, when faced with a child far too young for them to prosecute, the RSPCA did not give up. They contacted the Youth Offending Team to ‘raise concerns about the child’s behaviour’.
This child was well under the age of 10 and is unlikely to have understood that what he had done was against the law or even wrong.
The RSPCA recently admitted that it had prosecuted at least 82 “juveniles” (i.e. children) in the last three years alone. It is campaigning for ‘tougher penalties’ for those convicted of animal welfare offences and this includes the cases which it brings against children in the youth court.
Ernest Vine of the SHG asked:
“How can an organisation that has breached the sub judice rules on reporting on live trials and ignored the rules designed to protect children be allowed to continue to bring prosecutions?”
“There are many media reports highlighting the way that the RSPCA appears to target the very vulnerable members of society, people the CPS often choose not to prosecute, and then sends out press releases naming elderly, disabled or mentally ill defendants, who are then sometimes harassed by Animal Rights activists.
In the case of RSPCA v C (a child) the RSPCA prosecuted a young girl for failing to take her pet cat to the vet despite the fact that her father had told her to leave it and see if it improved, and that she had no money to pay the vet or means of transport. When they lost in the magistrates court the RSPCA appealed and lost again. The child was acquitted and awarded her costs.
Anne Kasica said:
“It is impossible to describe the utter misery and panic of good and decent people who find themselves being dragged through the criminal justice system, often for the first time in their lives.”
“It is all very well to say that there is a right for everyone to bring a private prosecution, but there is a huge difference between an organsiation that effectively has a bottomless pit of money, that they use to ensure that they win, and an individual, especially if that individual is ill, elderly or disabled, or is struggling with a mental illness.”
“Worse, they may have believed the RSPCA publicity machine that leaves many with the impression that they are a legal enforcement agency and actually have powers to enter, inspect, remove animalls or order individuals to have their animals put down.”
“The defendant may be dependent on legal aid, or could be just above the legal aid threshold but unable to find the cash for a legal defence team.”
“As is inevitable, there have been suicides. People have lost their jobs, sometimes after having time off work due to the stress caused by the investigation and subsequent prosecution. Families have broken up. All of this goes onto the NHS bill and the cost to the country is far in excess of the actual costs of the case itself.”
The SHG believes that it is clear both from the huge response, well over 7,000 signatures in just a few weeks, to the petition started by the Pedigree Dog Defence Group asking for an investigation into the activities of the RSPCA, and from the outrage expressed on internet forums, that the public has huge concerns about the RSPCA.
Ernest Vine conlcuded:
“We hope that the debate tabled by Simon Hart MP will signal the institution of proper controls over the RSPCA and its activities.”
Word Total: 804
Notes to Editors: -
For further comment please contact:
Anne Kasica on 01559 371031
Ernest Vine on 01559 370566
Mobile 0744 99 89 411.
The SHG was officially formed in June 1990 and has been helping people to defend themselves and their animals from the RSPCA for over 20 years.
The national help line number is 0844 700 66 90
A copy of this and previous press releases from The SHG are online at
Archived press releases can be found at
Background information on the Self Help Group for Farmers Pet Owners and Other Experiencing Difficulties with the RSPCA can be found at
and the SHG blog:
Details of further criticisms of the RSPCA can be found at the RSPCA-Animadversion website: