Animal Cruelty Pictures BiographySee also: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
RSPCA official charity logo
Founder(s) Richard Martin, William Wilberforce, Reverend Arthur Broome
Southwater, West Sussex, England
Key people Gavin Grant (Chief Executive)
Area served England & Wales
Revenue GBP £132.8m (2012)
Employees 1,667 (2011)
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is a charity operating in England and Wales that promotes animal welfare. In 2012, the RSPCA investigated 150,833 cruelty complaints. It is the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the world and is one of the largest charities in the UK, with 1,453 employees (as of 2009).
The charity's work has inspired the creation of similar groups in other jurisdictions, starting with the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (founded in 1836), and including the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1839), the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1840), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1866), the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1882), and various groups which eventually came together as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia (1981).
The RSPCA is funded primarily by voluntary donations. In 2012, RSPCA total income was £132,803,000, total expenditure was £121,464,000. Its patron is Queen Elizabeth II.
2 Animal welfare establishments
3 Organisation and structure
3.1 National organisation
3.5 Inspectorate rank insignia
4 Mission statement and charitable status
5 Legal standing and inspectors' powers
6 Controversy and criticism
6.1 Fund-raising in Scotland
6.2 Live animal export
6.3 Badger culling and politicisation
6.4 Slaughter of sacred cow
6.5 Heythrop Hunt
6.6 Allegations of discrediting of witnesses
6.7 Chief executive's salary
6.8 Deputy chairman raises concerns over 'political' allegations
6.9 Whistleblower suicide and Charity Commission investigation
6.10 Advertising standards violation
6.11 Small animal shelters
6.12 Archbishop of Canterbury's refusal to accept role of vice-patron
6.13 Countryside Alliance criticism
7 See also
8 Further reading
10 External links
10.1 Video clips
See also: RSPCA Reform Group
A painting of the trial of Bill Burns, showing Richard Martin with the donkey in an astonished courtroom, leading to the world's first known conviction for animal cruelty, after he was found beating his donkey. A story that delighted London's newspapers and music halls.
The organisation was founded in 1824 (without the "royal" prefix) as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; it was established by a group of 22 reformers led by Richard Martin MP, William Wilberforce MP and the Reverend Arthur Broome in ‘Old Slaughter’s Coffee House’, St Martin's Lane, near the Strand. The foundation is marked by a plaque on the modern day building at 77-78 St Martin's Lane.
The society was the first animal welfare charity to be founded in the world. In 1824 it brought sixty three offenders before the courts. It was granted its royal status by Queen Victoria in 1840 to become the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as it is today. In the late 1830s the society began the tradition of the RSPCA inspector, which is the image best known of the organisation today.
The RSPCA lobbied Parliament throughout the nineteenth century, resulting in a number of new laws. The Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 amended Martin's Act and outlawed baiting. In 1876 the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed to control animal experimentation. In 1911 Parliament passed Sir George Greenwood's Animal Protection Act.
Since that time the RSPCA has continued to play an active role, both in the creation of animal welfare legislation and in its enforcement. An important recent new law has been the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Animal welfare establishments
A RSPCA shop in Bramley, Leeds.
RSPCA centres, hospitals and branches operate throughout England and Wales. In 2012 RSPCA centres and branches assisted and rehomed 55,459 animals.
In 2013 the society owned four animal hospitals, Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Putney (south London) and the Harmsworth Memorial Hospital in Holloway (north London), and a number of clinics which provide treatments to those who could not otherwise afford it, neuter animals and accept animals from the RSPCA inspectorate.
RSPCA animal centres deal with a wide range of injured and rescued animals, working alongside its inspectorate, volunteers, and others to ensure that each animal is found a new home.
In 2013 the Society had four wildlife centres at East Winch (Norfolk), West Hatch (Somerset), Stapeley Grange (Cheshire) and Mallydams Wood (East Sussex), which provide treatment to sick, injured and orphaned wild animals to maximise their chances of a successful return to the wild.
Organisation and structure
At the national level, there is a 'National Control Centre', which receives all calls from members of the public, and tasks local Inspectors, AWOs or ACOs to respond to urgent calls.
Additionally the £16 million 'National Headquarters' located at Southwater in West Sussex houses several general 'Departments', each with a departmental head, consistent with the needs of any major organisation. The current Chief Executive Officer is Gavin Grant and he manages five Directors who all have responsibility for a number of relevant departments.
There are five 'Regions' (North, East, Wales & West, South & South West, South East), each headed by a Regional Manager (responsible for all staff and RSPCA HQ facilities) assisted by a Regional Superintendent who has responsibility for the Chief Inspectors, Inspectors, AWOs and ACOs. The Regional Managers are expected to have a broad understanding of operations throughout their regions.
Each Region of the RSPCA contains 'Groups' of Inspectorate staff. A Group is headed by a Chief Inspector. Each Chief Inspector might typically be responsible for around 8 or more Inspectors, 3 Animals Welfare Officers (AWOs) and 2 Animal Collection Officers (ACOs), working with several local Branches. There are also a small number of Market Inspectors across the country.
RSPCA branches operate locally across England and Wales. Some are separately registered charities operating at a local level and are run by volunteers. Some RSPCA branches are self-funding and raise money locally to support the animal welfare work they do. They find homes for about three-quarters of all animals taken in by the RSPCA. RSPCA branches also offer advice, microchipping, neutering and subsidised animal treatments. In 2013 there were also about 215 RSPCA shops.
Biography: Ingrid Newkirk is an animal rights activist, an author, and the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She is best known for the animal rights awareness campaigns she organizes on behalf of PETA, which she cofounded in 1980.
As PETA's president, Ingrid has spoken internationally on animal rights issues—from the steps of the Canadian Parliament to the streets of New Delhi, India, and from the drowning tanks of Taiwan to the halls of the U.S. Congress.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk
Ingrid was born in Surrey, England, and lived in Europe until she was 7 years old, when she and her parents moved to New Delhi, where her father worked as a navigational engineer and her mother volunteered for Mother Teresa and various charities. Ingrid's early volunteer experiences—packing pills and rolling bandages for people who were suffering from leprosy, stuffing toys for orphans, and feeding stray animals—informed her view that anyone in need, including animals, is worthy of concern.
Until she was 21, Ingrid had given no thought to animal rights or even vegetarianism. In 1970, however, when she and her husband were living in Maryland and she was studying to become a stockbroker, a neighbor abandoned some kittens and Ingrid decided to take them to an animal shelter. This was a life changing-experience for Ingrid and led to her first job working in behalf of animals—cleaning kennels and investigating cruelty cases. Peter Singer's book Animal Liberation and Ingrid's experiences in that job and later on—including finding a fox and a squirrel caught in steel traps, finding a pig left to starve on a farm, and inspecting laboratories and circus acts for the government—made her realize that there needed to be an organization like PETA.
Ingrid has also served as a deputy sheriff, a Maryland state law enforcement officer with the highest success rate in convicting animal abusers, the director of cruelty investigations for the second-oldest humane society in the U.S., and the chief of animal disease control for the Commission on Public Health in Washington, D.C.
Under Ingrid's leadership, legislation was passed to create the first-ever spay-and-neuter clinic in Washington, D.C. She coordinated the first arrest in U.S. history of a laboratory animal experimenter on cruelty charges and helped achieve the first anti-cruelty law in Taiwan. She spearheaded the closure of a Department of Defense underground "wound laboratory," and she has initiated many other campaigns against animal abuse, including ending General Motors' car-crash tests on animals.
Since it was founded, PETA has exposed horrific animal abuse in laboratories, leading to many firsts, including canceled funding, closed facilities, seizure of animals, and charges filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PETA has also closed the largest horse-slaughter operation in North America, convinced dozens of major designers and hundreds of companies to stop using fur, ended all car-crash tests on animals, cleaned up wretched animal pounds, helped schools switch to alternatives to dissection, and provided millions of people with information on vegetarianism, companion animal care, and countless other issues. Read more about PETA's history.
Ingrid Newkirk's biography shows that she is an abolitionist who remains committed to the idea that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.
Ingrid is the author of Save the Animals! 101 Easy Things You Can Do, 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals, The Compassionate Cook, 250 Ways to Make Your Cat Adore You, You Can Save the Animals: 251 Simple Ways to Stop Thoughtless Cruelty, Free the Animals, Making Kind Choices, Let's Have a Dog Party!, One Can Make a Difference, and The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights. She has also written numerous articles on the treatment of animals in homes, slaughterhouses, circuses, and laboratories.