RSPCA: Five ground-breaking pledges which we hope will change this country for animals forever

Enough is enough – RSPCA stands up for animals

Five ground-breaking pledges which we hope will change this country for animals forever.

This country may be known as a nation of animal lovers but we don’t always live up to that reputation – so today, and for the first time, the RSPCA is making clear pledges towards significant long-term changes in animal welfare. The charity is committing to:

· increase the proportion of UK farm animals reared in higher welfare systems.

· end the over-population of companion animals and tackle related issues.

· reduce the number of exotic animals kept as pets & increase their humane care.

· end euthanasia of any rehomeable animal.

· reduce the number of animals in the UK who undergo severe suffering when used in experiments.

New RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “For far too long, animals in this country have suffered from people’s cruelty, ignorance or neglect, and unfortunately some of these problems are getting even worse.

“Enough is enough, and that’s why we’re committing to doing our level best over the next five years to tackle some of these issues. Today we’re giving a clear and unambiguous message to the public about our priorities, and hopefully showing the scale of our ambition to make the world a better place for animals.”

The number of animals in this country may surprise many people. More than 900 million farm animals are raised in the UK each year, whereas the UK pet population is estimated at 22 million owned pets (excluding fish) with about 8 million cats and 8 million dogs. Animals are often used in research establishments as well, and in 2010 there were 3.72 million scientific procedures carried out involving animals.

The RSPCA is aiming to achieve the pledges over the next five years, and hopes to publish annual updates on what has been accomplished.

Gavin added: “These pledges are bold but they’re achievable, and they show the astonishing range of the RSPCA’s work, from helping animals used in research to campaigning for better welfare for farm animals.

“Make no mistake, there’s a lot to do so please take a moment to look at the pledges and have a think about how you can help because everybody across England and Wales can help make these pledges a reality. Whether it’s just spending an extra few pence on higher-welfare food, or giving an animal a loving new home, everyone can play their part.”

The RSPCA has more information and some short films on its website to let the public know more about the pledges, and how they can help: www.rspca.org.uk/pledges.

The charity has a network of 166 branches across England and Wales, and has seen a string of successes in recent years, from campaigns on chicken welfare, the ban on hunting with dogs and the introduction of the Animal Welfare Act.
 

Notes to editors:

More information and further press releases or to arrange an interview, please contact the RSPCA Press Office on 0300 123 0244 / 0288.

RSPCA – key facts and figures:

On average every 30 seconds someone in England and Wales dials 0300 1234 999 – the RSPCA's 24-hour cruelty line – for help. We received more than 1.1 million phone calls during 2010.
The charity works to improve the lives of millions of farm, laboratory, companion and wild animals.
The RSPCA was recently named as the 2nd most highly ranked charity in the annual Charity Brand Index (2011): www.thirdsectorresearch.com/cms-assets/documents/32676-242350.brandindex2011-top125.pdf
We were established in 1824 as the SPCA – Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Royal patronage followed in 1837 and Queen Victoria gave permission to add the royal R in 1840, making us the RSPCA as we're known worldwide today. For more about our history, see our website: www.rspca.org.uk/in-action/aboutus/heritage
We have about 460 uniformed staff working on the frontline to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals in England and Wales. During 2010, the charity rescued and collected 130,033 animals, investigated 159,686 cruelty complaints and found loving new homes for 83,268 animals.
For more information, see: www.rspca.org.uk/media/facts

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288 Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
Email: press@rspca.org.uk Website: www.rspca.org.uk