The RSPCA and the Animal Rights movement

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Dave

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Former Liberal Democrat MP Jackie Ballard is soon to become the former Director General of the RSPCA. She leaves the society to become Chief Executive of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. The reasons for her departure are not clear, but it does leave an interesting vacancy. Ballard was a much more political appointment than her predecessors and, with a council far more aligned to the animal rights movement than a purely animal welfare organisation, another radical appointment might be expected.

The RSPCA has a dominant role in the Government's policy development based on its history and positive role in animal protection, rather than its relatively small membership. It would be a great shame if the society's reputation was tarnished by a further move towards the animal extremists.

Across the animal rights industry, links between supposedly respectable front organisations and extreme animal rights activists have never been closer. It seems, for instance, that organisations like LACS and IFAW are happy to be associated with individuals who have long criminal records and are now describing themselves as monitors, or other such nonsense.

It was no surprise when Jon Ablewhite, a well known hunt saboteur, was convicted of offences relating to grave robbery last year. After all, this obscene act has long been a favoured tactic of anti-hunt campaigners.

There is something seriously wrong with people who can justify the infliction of misery and violence on people in response to perceived 'injustice' to animals, but such people are adopting a veneer of respectability and becoming increasingly influential.

If the RSPCA is to retain its reputation as a force for good in animal welfare and an effective brake on animal cruelty, it must reject the extremists. The animal rights movement is rapidly being tainted by the propensity of its supporters to focus far more on the hatred of people than the welfare of animals. In the end this does no good for either.

Simon Hart
Countyside Alliance
 
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