Posts Tagged ‘RSPCA’
It is not often that I feel a twinge of sympathy for politicians but must confess to just that as we cleared out the hens this morning. My fellow codgers were having a great time at the expense of little Michael Gove, who has performed a U-turn of Cameronian proportions in regard to GCSEs. It occurred to me that having for weeks condemned his crazy proposal, we are now slating him for coming round to our point of view. Yes, it is a humiliation but at least he has shown that he is prepared to admit that he was wrong, an action so rare amongst politicians that they should perhaps have him stuffed and put on display in the Great Hall
And we have other matters to trouble our ancient minds. Several of us have long regarded Findus beef lasagne as a tasty snack to look forward to after hours of chicken-related toil. Now we learn that we have been hurrying home for a portion of horse. The experts have rushed to assure us that there is no risk to health, and it must be admitted that none of us has show any inclination to gallop. But given that horses are regularly injected with antibiotics there is, as they say in the Guardian, cause for concern. However, I prefer my possible fate to the thought of being married to Chris Huhne’s ex-wife. Or the steely-eyed man himself for that matter.
All the talk of horses reminded us of our ongoing frustration at the antics of the hunting fraternity. In reality the only difference between them and badger-hunters is the accent and mode of dress. From time to time one hooray-henry or another assures us that foxes love the thrill of being chased by a pack of hounds, urged on by toffs in red coats but it is hard to swallow. In our book this is animal cruelty writ large
We were therefore cheered when the RSPCA prosecuted our dear leader’s local hunt. Armed with recorded evidence it was able to place the district judge, Tim Pattinson, in a position where he had no alternative to finding the hunt guilty of breaking the law as represented by the Hunting with Hounds legislation. But that didn’t prevent him from slating the RSPCA for not using its funds “more usefully”. He had plenty of support from the establishment. Sir Edward Garnier accused the Society of “using the weapon of state prosecution for political causes”. All those who leapt in with similar condemnations should perhaps be reminded of two things.
The RSPCA was using the ‘weapon of state prosecution’ to uphold the law and it was doing what it was originally created to do - protect animals from cruelty. The whole hunting issue has emphasised the extent to which sections of the community believe that they are above the law. This,, said one red-coated buffoon, is a bad law. At the time it was passed the vast majority supported it but, either way, laws exist to be observed until such time as they are repealed.
We Brits like to see ourselves as a nation of animal lovers, give or take the abandonment of a few thousand dogs each January. But in truth we tolerate, and support, cruelty on a grand scale. We may recoil from hunting but we are happy for example, to buy battery-eggs. You will not be surprised that we old chicken-keepers regard the treatment if battery-hens as barbaric. But being committed to fighting animal cruelty is costly, a blind-eye is a much easier option.
For many years we have viewed the RSPCA with contempt. It has carefully steered clear of controversy and put popularity first in instances like the Grand National. It has traditionally been unprincipled and gutless. The role of an organisation representing the best interests of animals should be to fight cruelty wherever it occurs, whoever is guilty of it. Suddenly it has a new leader, one determined to do just that regardless of who he offends.
Gavin Grant took over just a year ago, but already has powerful enemies both amongst the Conservative ranks and many commercial interests. He wasted no time in making clear that the organisation under his stewardship will take a ” zero-tolerance approach to animal cruelty; mice, hedgehogs, dogs, cats, badgers, cows, sheep, foxes, snakes, horses..you name it”. He has talked of those who condone cruelty as “wildlife criminals” who ” abuse animals for pleasure or profit”. They should go to jail. No surprise that he reports widespread attempts to intimidate him.
We hope that Mr Grant will withstand the bully boys. Unless the RSPCA is prepared to take a stand against cruelty, irrespective of the cost in terms of money or popularity, it might as well close its doors. Which is exactly what many a sadist wishes it to do.
Cruelty against any vulnerable being must be fought. It is time for each and everyone of us to take a long hard look in the mirror. If we favour cruelty that is our right, but at the very least we should regard the law as inviolate!
THOUGHT FOR TODAY; “Your thoughts are just thoughts, no more real than a nightmare which you dismiss on waking. You can learn to step back from your thoughts almost as though you were watching a movie rather than being in it!”..Dr Richard Carlson in ‘Stop thinking start living!’
The monsoon had abated when we assembled early on the allotments this morning. Our dismay at the sea of mud was tempered by the realisation that we have been lucky by comparison with some of the nearby communities. As climate change continues to accelerate living near a river is not to be recommended!
In fact there was a fair amount of levity as we set about a gravel-spread. Nick Clegg has done it again was the general comment as we wondered how anyone could mess up a speech about the inequity of wealthy old ‘uns being given a free bus-pass at a time like this. But young Nick managed it, he chose Alan Sugar as his example! It took less than an hour before Lord You’re-Fired to announce that he doesn’t have one, that neither he nor his companies practice tax-avoidance, and that “Clegg is a twit!”. Meantime Mr Clegg was reassuring his plebs that he will press on to the end of a road. The bearded geezer that pointed out that it ends on a cliff may well end up in one of the secret courts condemned by the conference!
That plan is yet another example of the government announcing a plan without realising that it will trigger outrage, and that it is totally unworkable. An even better example is the proposed trial cull of Badgers, seen by some as a way of eliminating bovine tuberculosis. Before anyone has had the wit to produce a rationale the inevitable war has broken out. The farmers are quite reasonably pointing to the heartbreak of losing thousands of valuable animals to slaughter. The RSPCA has launched a campaign urging the public to boycott milk produced in areas practising the cull, the fanatics are issuing threats of violence. Plebs like us are distraught at the prospect of a protected and revered creature being eliminated.
But no one seems to have considered the practicality of the idea. Ministers have rushed to say that the High Court has given its blessing, as if that somehow guarantees success. Various experts have produced conflicting statistics proving almost any theory they happen to be propounding. But they have all missed the crucial point, a selective cull of Badgers will not work.
The most obvious reason is that, once a cull begins, the creatures will head off to quieter non-cull areas. But there is a more down-to-earth predictor of failure. One of my allotment pals, Alec, is a passionate amateur wildlife photographer, and he tells us that filming badgers is a very tough task. They rarely appear in daylight and are extremely sensitive to sound during the hours of darkness. He has learned the hard way that even the snapping of a twig will send them scuttling back into their set. Getting a clear camera-shot can involve many hours of silent vigil.
The idea that men with guns will show the same patience and silence is far-fetched. Add in the inevitable intervention of activists blowing warning-whistles and you have mission impossible. Of the Badgers that are spotted some will inevitably be only ‘winged’ and would suffer the agony of a slow death. The majority would lie low or head off for new areas. Some proponents of culling have spoken of ‘smoking-out’, or the use of dogs, but such moves would trigger public reactions that the hard-pressed police would be unable to contain.
In Wales a quite different and more humane progrmme is planned, this involves vaccination. But even this will involve a very long process with no certainty that every creature will be tempted by the baited traps.
So in the view of this bunch of allotment plebs – you have taught us our place, Mr Mitchell – there is only one method capable of solving this terrible dilemna. The cattle must be vaccinated. Of course ministers have rushed to say that the required vaccine will not be available for some time. That being the case they should allocate resources and insist on early resolution.
The whole affair is very Clegg-like. We will head into a highly charged row about something that, be it morally right or wrong, simply won’t work. Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad comes to mind!
As we cleaned out the squabbling hens this morning there was a good deal of chat about Prince Philip, our irascible hero on high. When we first noticed his absence from the Palace concert we assumed that the Duke had tossed a coin to decide whether to wear ear plugs or simply stay at home. Sadly, it transpired that he is in hospital. We are not too surprised. When several of us were watching the Thames pageant, Tom commented that his bladder must be in better shape than that of most elderly men. We ancient owners of ancient bladders know only too well that standing for long periods in very cold temperatures is a recipe for trouble. Based on our experience he will be fine after a few days rest.
The other snippet of news that caught our eye was the instant decision of our dear leader to refer the case of Lady Warsi to Sir Alex Allan, the adviser on ministerial interests. He is right to do so given that she faces several accusations of what sounds like, er, dodgy practice. But his decision raises a big question. Why did he not refer Jeremy Hunt, whose practices sounded a good deal dodgier. To be honest that is a rhetorical question, we all know the answer. A guilty verdict on Warsi represents no threat to David Cameron, the same on Hunt would bring down the dear leader himself, given his participation in the BSkyB bid plot.
But it was another story that really shocked us. Everyone is painfully aware of the obscene level of top executive pay, and its continuing escalation at a time when people at the other end of the social scale are suffering hardship unknown since the days of Dickens. Each time a new scandal breaks we are assured that the Company’s remuneration committee is advised by independent consultants, whose views are made known to shareholders. Today we learn that almost 70% of those supposedly independent ‘experts’ also sell general consultancy services to the same companies. In other words should the consultants not play ball with the Board they will lose out on other lucrative contracts. No surprise that the High Pay Commission has spoken out at what is a conflict of interests to beat them all.
So its champagne all round for the ever richer rich boys, irrespective of their performance. By way of contrast we learn of the treatment dished out to long-term unemployed jobseekers who were bussed from Bristol to London to work as unpaid stewards during the jubilee celebrations. As part of the government’s Work Programme they were obliged to board coaches at 11.00pm en route to London. On arrival, in the early hours, they were told to sleep under London Bridge in driving rain and near freezing temperatures. They had no food or access to toilets and were obliged to change on the pavement into their security uniforms.
Ater then working a 14 hour shift in pouring rain alongside the Thames they were taken to tents standing in, what reporters described as, a near-swamp. This appalling treatment was handed out by Close Protection UK, one of the magnificent private sector warriors we hear so much about. It confirmed that it was using 30 unpaid staff and 50 apprentices. The unpaid work was, they said, a trial for paid work during the Olympics.
Had these youngsters been animals the RSPCA would right now be preparing charges of cruelty. The story illustrates vividly the growing divisions in our society. Those of us roughly in the middle are getting by, those at the top are raking in fortunes and avoiding the inconvenience of tax, those at the bottom are plummeting into hell of man’s making.
It was inspiring to hear the stirring words of Land of Hope and Glory yesterday. Sadly the reality in the coalition’s Britain is rather different!
QUOTE OF THE DAY;
” I believe that we create every so-called illness in our body. The body, like everything else in life, is a mirror to our inner thoughts and beliefs. Our body is always talking to us; we just need to take the time to listen. Every cell within our body responds to every single thought we think and every word we speak. So change your thinking now and get going. You can heal your body”….Louise L Hay, author of “I Can Do It”, a guide to the use of affirmations to change your life.