The Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA) is very disappointed at the newly released recommendation by EFRA that the RSPCA should be stripped of its prosecution powers. The recommendation comes from the EFRA Enquiry into the effectiveness of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 with regard to domestic pets, to which AIA submitted evidence earlier this year.
The enquiry was supposed to investigate important issues such as how effective the Animal Welfare Act 2006 was with regard to protecting companion animals, particularly in the area of online sales and advertising, and covered key issues such as the over-production of companion animals, puppy farms and the current crises in the numbers of unwanted dogs, cats and equines.
But it appears that these important issues have been overshadowed by the Enquiry’s recommendation that the RSPCA should be stripped of its prosecution powers.
An AIA spokesperson said, ‘It is very disappointing that the EFRA Enquiry should make this recommendation and it appears that the whole enquiry was a sham, organised by a pro-foxhunting minority who dominated the committee to ensure that they would be protected from future prosecutions for their illegal hunting activities. What a wasted opportunity to address the urgent issue of the over-production of companion animals’.
AIA applauds the excellent work of the RSPCA in enforcing current animal welfare legislation, often in very difficult circumstances. It would be marvellous if the police, local authorities and the CPS fully took on this responsibility and it was not left to a charity to undertake this work. But with their own issues over the allocation of their limited resources, this hasn’t happened and is unlikely to happen in the future. If the RSPCA does not prosecute and enforce existing animal welfare legislation, then who will protect the most vulnerable animals in our society?