Target: Elizabeth Truss, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Goal: Don’t limit the RSPCA’s power to prosecute animal abuse.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (RSPCA) right to prosecute cases of animal abuse could be stripped. The United Kingdom’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee (EFRA) will launch an inquiry into the RSPCA’s prosecution powers, aiming to curtail it. In England and Wales, animal welfare groups have the right to prosecute offenders in cases of animal cruelty. Almost 200 years old, the RSPCA is the UK’s leading animal charity and main prosecutor of animal welfare offenses.
Many commentators have dubbed this inquiry a move by Conservative MPs to undermine animal charities in general in order to strengthen their own campaign to legalize fox-hunting. At a time where the national and local governments are experiencing severe cutbacks and prosecuting budgets lack, the RSPCA is taking on important prosecution cases and effectively saving the government money. Additionally, the charity has stated that prosecution a “last resort,” as it always strives to help vulnerable people, offer advice and assistance to improve animal welfare and issue warnings first. Nonetheless, were the RSPCA’s prosecution powers revoked or just limited, countless cases of animal cruelty would go unpunished.
Curtailing this charity’s capacity to bring offenders to justice would put thousands of animals at risk of abuse while allowing perpetrators to carry on unimpeded. Sign this petition urging government officials not to limit the RSPCA’s right to prosecute.
Dear Mrs. Truss,
The RSPCA’s vital prosecution powers may be at stake, despite this leading animal welfare charity’s crucial role in protecting animals from cruelty and abuse. The inquiry launched by EFRA into the charity’s prosecution powers not only wastes government resources but completely discounts the RSPCA’s vital work in service of animals nationwide.
As the main prosecutor of animal welfare offences in the UK, the RSPCA is saving the government money by taking on these responsibilities in a context of national and local budget cuts. Furthermore, the charity uses prosecution as a “last resort,” offering advice and assistance first and foremost. Nonetheless, were the RSPCA’s prosecution powers revoked or limited, countless cases of animal cruelty would go unpunished.
Co-founder of the RSPCA Richard Martin once said that, “…if legislation to protect animals is to be effective, it must be adequately enforced.” The RSPCA should be recognized and valued for upholding this principle, not see its ability to protect animals severely limited. Countless animals depend on this charity’s capacity to protect them and curtailing this power would put thousands of animals at risk of abuse while allowing perpetrators to carry on unimpeded. I urge you to take steps to ensure that the RSPCA’s right to prosecute is not limited.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tobycat