Protecting animals

IN response to Val Whitehouse s letter (RSPCA not fit, August 15), the RSPCA would like to explain its prosecution policy. The RSPCA is unable to comment on individual matters which are yet to be concluded in court. The RSPCA does not pick and choose wh

IN response to Val Whitehouse's letter (RSPCA not fit, August 15), the RSPCA would like to explain its prosecution policy.

The RSPCA is unable to comment on individual matters which are yet to be concluded in court.

The RSPCA does not "pick and choose" who is prosecuted. We are obliged to investigate any incident reported to us where an animal has been made to suffer. The decision to take any case to prosecution is taken by our prosecutions department, which is independent of our inspectorate. This decision is based purely on matters of law.

In the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the owner is given the opportunity to follow advice on their pets' welfare where their animals' needs are not being met. This enables our inspectors to help to prevent cruelty.


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The RSPCA works hard to ensure that people meet the needs of their animals and that cruelty and animal abuse are minimised. In the small number of complaints where the cruelty or abuse has been of such a nature, or where those responsible will not take good advice to take proper care of their animals, then there is no alternative to prosecution. The RSPCA has a high success rate in cases heard before the courts (of around 95 per cent).

SOPHIE WILKINSON, RSPCA , East Regional Press Officer, Peterborough

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