RSPCA chief ‘has enough targets to fill Noah’s Ark’

Posted on December 24, 2012

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On the 23rd December, an item was published on page 5 of the “News review” section of The Sunday Times newspaper titled ‘He has enough targets to fill Noah’s Ark’. The item fills three-quarters of the page and includes a photo.; it is an interview with Gavin Grant, chief executive of the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK).

‘… Criticised for his costly prosecution of a hunt, the RSPCA chief is unrepentant: the next animal ‘abuses’ on his hit list are halal meat, live sheep exports and the Grand National

… at the huge, purpose-built open-plan headquarters of the RSPCA in Horsham, West Sussex … as a crowd of pensioner supporters tuck into tea and mince pies in the tree-lined atrium … the controversial new head of the charity outlines his plans for an animal rights revolution.

Gavin Grant takes no prisoners. Over three hours he hardly draws breath …

He has a lot to answer for. Last week he stood accused of wasting the charity’s money and playing politics with a national institution. A judge declared the £330,000 the RSPCA had spent on a private prosecution against the Heythrop Hunt was “quite staggering”, especially since the defence costs were only £35,000.

Grant is unrepentant, hailing the case “a landmark” – last week was the first time a hunt, as opposed to individuals, was successfully prosecuted under the 2004 act that was supposed to ban the practice …

Far from being cowed by the criticism, Grant makes it clear this is the beginning of an aggressive new push by the RSPCA to “enforce the law of the land” on hunting. He reveals that his inspectors, helped by an informal army of (mainly female) monitors with video cameras, are already investigating four more hunts.

Rather than damaging the charity, he insists the case has already “boosted our numbers of subscribers” … and led to some hefty individual donations. The RSPCA website, he says, is awash with people congratulating the charity for finally holding hunts to account for illegal actions …

the website is all about “re-homing” unwanted pets, neutering, farm animal welfare and animal experiments …

“We take a zero tolerance approach to animal cruelty – mice, hedgehogs, dogs, cats, badgers, cows, sheep, foxes, snakes – we are here to protect all animals. A civilisation is judged on how it treats the weakest – animals have no vote, no voice, no choice …” …’

The item is probably posted in full on The Times web-site but, unfortunately, you must be a subscriber to access timesonline.

Go to the RSPCA web-site at www.rspca.org.uk

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