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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack W View Post
I read the article when I first looked at this thread.

I personally think it sounds like an excuse for the RSPCA. What I am saying is that simply because the people who abuse animals are morons, doesn't mean that the RSPCA also have to act in a moronic way. Just because they are an organisation with 'good intentions' doesn't give them carte blanche to act in any way they want.

No one is debating that people who abuse animals aren't s. However, that doesn't mean we should agree with everything the RSPCA does.

Just my opinion also. Agree to disagree?
No worries I'm with you, just don't like to see people criticizing without offering solutions - not you, just general bashing. It's not helpful. I'm in agreement with Chris Newman on CPS and SSPCA model for recruitment - that's sensible suggestion. Just saying the RSPCA are rubbish, but not providing an alternative for dealing with a big animal cruelty issue is a waste of time.

I also think more people should be aware that each local branch is a a separate charity- totally different charity number to National RSPCA, and is self funded.

My local branch, Leicester has to raise all it's running costs from donations within the county. They get zero from the National Society, and actually have to pay them some money to pay for the RSPCA inspectors who work in Leicestershire, but they have no control or say in what the inspectors do.

They are run by volunteer trustees, no "Top Brass" and kennel staff are on pretty much minimum wage. They work so hard and to see the National Society making such poor decisions and people turning anti RSPCA really is unfair on them as they are doing what people do want the RSPCA to do - grass roots basic animal welfare.
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Revobuzz View Post
I also think more people should be aware that each local branch is a a separate charity- totally different charity number to National RSPCA, and is self funded.

My local branch, Leicester has to raise all it's running costs from donations within the county. They get zero from the National Society, and actually have to pay them some money to pay for the RSPCA inspectors who work in Leicestershire, but they have no control or say in what the inspectors do.

They are run by volunteer trustees, no "Top Brass" and kennel staff are on pretty much minimum wage. They work so hard and to see the National Society making such poor decisions and people turning anti RSPCA really is unfair on them as they are doing what people do want the RSPCA to do - grass roots basic animal welfare.
I would agree - if more people were aware of this structure then more people would know just how to make an effective statement of their position: either support the local branch (which will send more money to HQ) or support other charities (which will deprive HQ of its much-needed funds).
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 08:42 PM
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I would agree - if more people were aware of this structure then more people would know just how to make an effective statement of their position: either support the local branch (which will send more money to HQ) or support other charities (which will deprive HQ of its much-needed funds).
The other thing is people who leave money in their will. They may have been a life long supporter of the Branch, but if the will just says "RSPCA" and Not "RSPCA Leicester Branch" then the National Soc get the cash not the Local branch.

Its a very odd set up.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 09:19 PM
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The RSPCA are fundamentally opposed to the keeping of reptiles as pets. The RSPCA have five pledges that they make (the pledges are effectively their mission statement). Pledge No. 5 is:

Quote:
We pledge to reduce the number of exotic animals kept as pets and increase their humane care.
Whatever good the organisation may do in other areas (and that is debatable), we must not lose sight of the fact that the RSPCA is an organisation that is ideologically opposed to our hobby.

The next time you let an RSPCA "officer" into you home to view your collection - on the basis that "you've got nothing to hide" - you would do well to remember that you are not inviting an unbiased and objective observer into your home...instead you are letting someone inspect your animals that is fundamentally opposed to you being free to keep those animals in the first place!
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 09:46 PM
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Here are my five suggestions that I believe would change the RSPCA immeasurably:

(1) Stop private prosecutions and work through an independent prosecuting authority such as the CPS, this could be done very easily by collaborating with the police and would reduce the fiscal burden on the RSPCA to the tune of approximately £10 million a year, this money could then be spent on animal welfare!

(2) Make it mandatory for all new Inspectors to have an absolute minimum of one (preferably more) years practical experience of working with animals before they can apply for training as an Inspector.

(3) Take a step back from the high level political campaigning for Animal Rights and instead focus on Animal Welfare issue.

(4) Engage with other organisations/societies that specialise in specific taxa groups, as an example work with groups like the FBH to improve welfare of reptiles in captivity.

(5) Support RSPCA branches that engage in practical hands on Animal Welfare issues such as rehoming. Rather than simply taking money from branches for the use of the name, funds should be allocated to branches to be abele to expand and invest in projects that have direct hands on benefits for the welfare of animals, e.g. rehoming.

I believe if the RSPCA adopted these small changes it would radically transform the charity into a body the animal keepers would support, rather than revile. The benefits to practical, hands on, animal welfare would be enormous.

Are any of these actually unreasonable recommendations…….?
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Newman View Post
...
(3) Take a step back from the high level political campaigning for Animal Rights and instead focus on Animal Welfare issue.

(4) Engage with other organisations/societies that specialise in specific taxa groups, as an example work with groups like the FBH to improve welfare of reptiles in captivity.
...
Are any of these actually unreasonable recommendations…….?
Other than being diametrically opposed to what their current leaders want, no, they're not at all unreasonable
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Revobuzz View Post
No worries I'm with you, just don't like to see people criticizing without offering solutions - not you, just general bashing. It's not helpful. I'm in agreement with Chris Newman on CPS and SSPCA model for recruitment - that's sensible suggestion. Just saying the RSPCA are rubbish, but not providing an alternative for dealing with a big animal cruelty issue is a waste of time.

I also think more people should be aware that each local branch is a a separate charity- totally different charity number to National RSPCA, and is self funded.

My local branch, Leicester has to raise all it's running costs from donations within the county. They get zero from the National Society, and actually have to pay them some money to pay for the RSPCA inspectors who work in Leicestershire, but they have no control or say in what the inspectors do.

They are run by volunteer trustees, no "Top Brass" and kennel staff are on pretty much minimum wage. They work so hard and to see the National Society making such poor decisions and people turning anti RSPCA really is unfair on them as they are doing what people do want the RSPCA to do - grass roots basic animal welfare.
Can't disagree with any of that mate. Well put.

Minimum wage is about right for kennel staff. It is what I am on at a kennel, part time during my masters and full time over the summer, and that is a private one. Animal work is so easy to find staff for, as people think it will all be playing with puppies and cuddling cute kittens, not cleaning crap out for most of the day, and so minimum wage is pretty common/ standard I think.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2013, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Newman View Post
What you are suggesting seems very simply the reality, however, it is anything but. What you are proposing (if it is to have any veracity) is a government department or agency set up to licence pet ownership, the cost would be tens (many tens) of millions of pounds annually and unless a licensing scheme is enforced it has no teeth, so who is going to enforce it? And no before you say the RSPCA could not enforce it, they are not a government agency. In Scotland yes the SSPCA could be used as they have formal powers already. The cost of such as scheme are simply untenably, and no government would ever consider instigating such a scheme, in my view. I can see the appeal and I can see the logic, the reality unfortunately is very different.
As usual you say it can't be done because it costs too much, and yet the amount of money being spent on reptiles annually is phenomenal. I'm saying licence reptiles at this stage not pets in general, as I'm really concerned with protecting herpetologists and reptiles. If a small tightly run government department can be set up to compile the exam papers with the help of the main reptile organisations and send out the licences and register the licence holders/applicants ( with the help of the main reptile bodies) on databases and process the incoming application money, that could be done and funded by the people applying for licences. Are we forgetting how many people out there keep reptiles? The industry is huge. And as I said before, the main reason to do this is not to create an army of gestapoesque reptile enforcers who go around randomly checking on people's husbandry levels and deciding who gets to keep a licence and who doesn't, it's to get people licenced in the first place. The RSPCA are already out there trying to protect animals and the police are obliged to prosecute people who have been found to be abusing their animals, which is a crime. If a licence was required by law to keep reptiles, which is the whole point of what I'm been saying, a person being prosecuted would lose their reptile licence and they would not be keeping reptiles again, unless they did so without a licence which would mean they are breaking the law again and would be at risk of prosecution again.

Its not the enforcing here that is the important bit, it's getting licences made compulsory, getting people to apply for them and making them responsible for the care if their animals.

You say that it would be impossible to enforce, are you aware that animal welfare agencies and the police are already enforcing?

If anything it's the reptile community that has no teeth. A multimillion pound hobby/ industry and the main reptile organisations can't work with the government to set up a licensing department so that reptile keepers can fill out a simple exam paper, send it off, get their licence back, and get it revoked if they are found to be abusing animals. It's hardly splitting the atom is it Chris?

You might find that shows could be open to licence holders only, making them private shows on a technicality, making them bulletproof from the antis, but that an exam application booth could be set up at every show for newcomers who want to apply for a reptile keeping licence. A reptile keeping licence should be something that budding young herpetologists covet, it shouldn't be seen as a problem.

What do you think will happen if European influence brings about changes in the hobby? If any changes are brought about it will have to be administered and financed via the taxpayer anyway, I'm saying fund it from the people who want to be reptile keepers.

As usual the huffers and puffers whine on about how it's simply impossible, that's bullcrap! They're just dealers and breeders who don't want their businesses complicated by reptile keepers needing a licence.

All this money grabbing and cronyism in the hobby will ruin it in the end for those of us who just want to keep reptiles. Unfortunately it seems that reptile businesses continue to dictate that licences are unnecessary, however time will tell.
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 28-08-2013, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Uromastyxman View Post
As usual you say it can't be done because it costs too much, and yet the amount of money being spent on reptiles annually is phenomenal. I'm saying licence reptiles at this stage not pets in general, as I'm really concerned with protecting herpetologists and reptiles. If a small tightly run government department can be set up to compile the exam papers with the help of the main reptile organisations and send out the licences and register the licence holders/applicants ( with the help of the main reptile bodies) on databases and process the incoming application money, that could be done and funded by the people applying for licences. Are we forgetting how many people out there keep reptiles? The industry is huge. And as I said before, the main reason to do this is not to create an army of gestapoesque reptile enforcers who go around randomly checking on people's husbandry levels and deciding who gets to keep a licence and who doesn't, it's to get people licenced in the first place. The RSPCA are already out there trying to protect animals and the police are obliged to prosecute people who have been found to be abusing their animals, which is a crime. If a licence was required by law to keep reptiles, which is the whole point of what I'm been saying, a person being prosecuted would lose their reptile licence and they would not be keeping reptiles again, unless they did so without a licence which would mean they are breaking the law again and would be at risk of prosecution again.

Its not the enforcing here that is the important bit, it's getting licences made compulsory, getting people to apply for them and making them responsible for the care if their animals.

You say that it would be impossible to enforce, are you aware that animal welfare agencies and the police are already enforcing?

If anything it's the reptile community that has no teeth. A multimillion pound hobby/ industry and the main reptile organisations can't work with the government to set up a licensing department so that reptile keepers can fill out a simple exam paper, send it off, get their licence back, and get it revoked if they are found to be abusing animals. It's hardly splitting the atom is it Chris?

You might find that shows could be open to licence holders only, making them private shows on a technicality, making them bulletproof from the antis, but that an exam application booth could be set up at every show for newcomers who want to apply for a reptile keeping licence. A reptile keeping licence should be something that budding young herpetologists covet, it shouldn't be seen as a problem.

What do you think will happen if European influence brings about changes in the hobby? If any changes are brought about it will have to be administered and financed via the taxpayer anyway, I'm saying fund it from the people who want to be reptile keepers.

As usual the huffers and puffers whine on about how it's simply impossible, that's bullcrap! They're just dealers and breeders who don't want their businesses complicated by reptile keepers needing a licence.

All this money grabbing and cronyism in the hobby will ruin it in the end for those of us who just want to keep reptiles. Unfortunately it seems that reptile businesses continue to dictate that licences are unnecessary, however time will tell.
It’s not me that is saying it will cost too much, that is what the government would say……!!

In terms of singling out reptiles above any other taxa for such a scheme – absolutely emphatically not, that would be like climbing a tree to cut a branch off, only to suddenly realise that you are not standing next to the trunk as you plummet to the ground and oblivion!

What advantage is there is singling out reptiles from other companion animals such as dogs or cats or even rabbits where there are real demonstrable issues?

If you stand back and look at this objectively I would argue that reptile’s owners are already the most responsible sector of the pet owning community. There are significantly less reptiles rehomed each year than dogs or cats or indeed rabbits, and as for the latter there is only a fraction of the numbers kept in comparison to reptiles. There are massively less prosecutions for cruelty to reptiles than cats, dogs, rabbits or even birds. In terms of public safety, reptiles are the second safest pet taxa to keep, only fish being statistically safer.

Reptiles are the choose of informed and responsible keepers, isolating reptiles from other companion animal taxa would set us back decades, it is absolutely the last things we should be doing.

As with any licensing scheme enforcement is the key if you can’t enforce a scheme then it’s worthless, it is nothing more than a revenue generating scheme! The good guys will comply, the bad guys won’t and it’s not really the good guys that need regulating it’s the bad, and they will simply ignore it and carry on regardless you have archived nothing, other than perhaps making some money!

You have a point about Europe, however, the hobby in Europe in terms of political representation is ten years behind us here in the UK. So rather than Europe negatively influencing the UK its high time that the UK positively influenced Europe, and indeed that is a process that has started and will intensify as from September.

Yes there will be bad reptile keepers, just as there are bad keepers of other taxa, however, all available evidence demonstrates quite clearly there are few issues in terms of reptiles being kept inappropriately as opposed to most other taxa groups, accept fish. Therefore singling out reptiles for a scheme as you are proposing is not appropriate in my view.

There are issues that need dealing with agreed, but I do not see that licensing would deliver any tangible benefit and would in my view be highly detrimental to the long terms security of our interests, i.e. keeping reptiles.
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Old 28-08-2013, 08:40 AM
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Licencing is all well and good but how would this be enforced?

A comparison was made earlier with those who drive without a licence, and teh suggestion that they can get away with that so why would an animal licence be different - well the reality is that if/when you are caught uninsured or without a licence, the car is seized and you get a ticket for £200 (soon to be £300) plus 6 penalty points slapped on your licence, then recovery fees - £120 plus £20 a day or part of each day, after 14 days the car is scrapped. Not forgetting that to then get insurance, your premium goes up through the roof. Do this twice and you are banned. So, people don't get away with it. Enforcement is very easy with police vehicles having ANPR cameras on board. This is working as the number of uninsured/unlicenced drivers is dropping each year.

The problem with a proposed animal keeping licence is that it would not be enforced. The DWAA has been cited, but enforcement is very difficult. While the legislation itself is very simple, and easy to understand, with the local authority having the power to seize illegally held animals and dispose as they see fit, there is no power of entry to enforce it!

Even if legislation were to brought in with a power of entry/warrant, the local authorities are facing considerable cutbacks and very often simply cannot afford enforcement action with animals. I cannot see that it would be a police matter either.
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