An appallingly violent act is unfolding in front of our eyes.
It is nothing less than a vicious, calculated attempt to discredit the RSPCA and destroy its powers to prevent cruelty to animals.
This vile attack is being mounted by the Countryside Alliance, elements of the National Farmers' Union, elements of the Press and media and elements of the very Government of this country.elements of the Press and media and elements of the very Government of this country.
It must not be allowed to succeed.
This is a pivotal moment.
The RSPCA was founded in 1824 with the express purpose of defending animals against abuse – against unnecessary pain and death. The RSPCA is one of the finest altruistic organisations this country has ever seen. It has tirelessly pursued that goal for 180 years, rescuing animals from all kinds of terrible fates, recently fighting amongst other things against the cruel export of live farm animals to Europe, the random massacre of badgers in a futile attempt to eradicate a farming disease, and the pursuit of fox hunters who have been routinely flouting the law against the pursuit and killing of foxes using packs of dogs.
All of these activities sit within the RSPCA's charitable objecives. The RSPCA's charter not only allows it to prosecute these abuses, but actually obliges it to do so. Until recently it had been infiltrated by supporters of cruel sports, and had stopped short of pursuing the cruelty of the hunts, but under the strong leadership of Gavin Grant, the RSPCA has recently for the first time taken long overdue direct action to prosecute illegal acts of fox hunting. The result has been a backlash – a frantic attempt to vilify the RSPCA in the eyes of the public.
Imagine, for a moment, that the NSPCC succeeded in a prosecution against a team of child abusers. Imagine if elements of the Press, in reporting the prosecution, neglected to report that justice had been done, but instead accused the NSPCC of recklessly spending its money, letting down its supporters, breaking its charter, and being politically motivated in its behaviour. Imagine if a bunch of child abusers then banded together to spread vile propaganda against the NSPCC, its officers, and the very children that were abused. This terrible scenario is exactly what the RSPCA is being subjected to, the only difference being that the creatures involved are non-human. The analogy between the RSPCA and the NSPCC is far from random. Both organisations were the result of action by William Wilberforce, the NSPCC being born actually within the offices of the RSPCA in 1884; both organisations operate with the clear intention of stamping out cruelty absolutely. It is widely accepted by criminal enforcement agencies that cruelty to animals is closely correlated with psychopathic behaviour and cruelty to children, and the two organisations have maintained their links over the years.
How could we stand by and let the pro-cruelty section of the community get away with it ? The people vilifying the RSPCA and anyone who speaks up for them are small in number, but rich, powerful, well connected, and utterly ruthless. Their aim is to bring back the despicable blood sports of fox-hunting, hare coursing, and stag hunting, which were outlawed by the Hunting Act of 2004. The fact that this Government is within an ace of starting a massacre of badgers might appear to be unrelated. But the fact is that the only way such carnage can be justified is if the value of a badger is set at zero. If they get away with this badger cull, then the value of every wild mammal is also set at zero, so, under the dishonest pretext of 'vermin control', they will be able to get away with bringing back all these appallingly cruel pursuits. There is no reason to suppose that it would stop there.
This is the crossroads.
Britain at this point either allows Cameron's government to propel us back into the Dark Ages of barbarism, or we all stand up and cry "No!" No return to the despicable pursuits of the privileged few in the name of tradition, or hidden under the entirely bogus claim of 'control'.
People of the UK, if you value your personal freedoms, and your right to be able to stand up against an anachronistic clique of ruthless toffs and bullies what we must demand is zero tolerance of cruelty towards any sentient creature.
These attacks on the RSPCA will continue to appear – desperate attempts to thwart the prosecution of animal abusers, with the ultimate aim of making it acceptable for wild animals to be culled, hunted for sport, and regarded as vermin. At this crucial time we must give the RSPCA our full support.