An internal investigation into the RSPCA’s putting down of a 16-year old cat in 2013 and attempt to prosecute its owners for cruelty has seen the charity accused of acting unlawfully, misinforming a vet, hiding evidence and triggering a hate campaign against the cat’s owners by making false claims on national radio. The charity admitted behaving in an insensitive and disproportionate way by threatening the cat’s owners with fines and imprisonment if they did not allow it to be put down.
Charges against the cat’s owners were dropped by the CPS and the RSPCA publicly apologised. The case has been used by MP’s anxious to see the charity stripped of its right to bring private prosecutions, a right that everyone has.
Meanwhile in Murcia, Spain, two farmworkers who were filmed laughing as they tortured and killed pregnant pigs by smashing iron bars into their heads and stabbing them in the side with swords walked free from court with one year suspended sentences. The case has generated a petition signed by 66,000 people calling for tougher penalties for animal cruelty, though in a country where it is acceptable that farm animals are routinely tortured and slaughtered in the bullring in the name of sport and entertainment this may be optimistic.