Opinion Former Article

RSPCA launches ‘Animal Welfare Report Card’

Facebook app gives users the chance to be to be ‘teacher’

The RSPCA is giving people a chance to act as ‘teacher’ and write their own report card assessing the coalition government in Westminster in their performance on Animal Welfare.

As a result of growing frustrations from the public about key animal welfare issues the RSPCA has responded by launching a Facebook app in the style of an end of term ‘report card’ so that everyone concerned with animal welfare can share their views.

The charity has also published its own ‘school report’, analysing what the government in England has achieved in key animal welfare areas including pet animal issues, farming, wild animals and research. Each area has been graded from A to F depending on the progress made and the promises given in these particular areas. Now it wants the public to have their say

The “report card” Facebook app on the RSPCA’s official page enables users to be ‘the teacher’ in grading the government in Westminster on ‘subjects’ offering background on the issue and ‘teachers notes’. The report takes on an old fashioned school master style with comments on the ‘pupil’s performance’ including remarks such as “from their homework it is abundantly clear that in the classroom, information is going in one ear, and out of the other. See me!”

What is clear is that while there have been encouraging signs in some areas, there is still much to be done and in some cases progress has stalled completely or, even worse, the issue has actually gone backwards. 

David Bowles, director of communications, said: “What has been highlighted in this school report is the clear divide between how the public feel and how the government acts. 

“The public is extremely concerned about animal welfare, as seen in the huge number of responses to consultations on badgers, circuses and laboratory animals, so it is very concerning that the government appears to have ignored these. The phrase ‘could do better’ certainly sums up this first report. “

The aim of the report is to highlight each issue against the promises made and to ensure Westminster is held accountable, especially when assurances have been made to improve welfare. We will continue to monitor their progress and grade accordingly.

The government’s grades are as follows:

Dog control and irresponsible dog owners E

Over-population and identification of dogs E

Laying hens B

Beak trimming B

Chicken and poultry meat C

Labelling of farm animal products D

Game bird standards E

Wild animals in circuses E

Control of Bovine TB FAIL

Regulating the use of animals in laboratories D

Cloning FAIL

The RSPCA hopes that the government will take the comments in the report on board and will look to improve on their grades for the upcoming year as there are many people who are watching closely and holding the government to account.

Notes to editors

The complete report and ‘Animal Welfare Report Card’ Facebook app ” on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RSPCA?sk=app_293302434071151

Further information can be found by logging onto our website: www.rspca.org.uk.

For further information or for an interview request please contact the RSPCA press office on 0300 1232 0244/0288. On a bank holiday please call the duty press officer on 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825.

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

Save the Date! RSPCA Week 30 April - 6 May 2012 Visitu www.rspcaweek.org.uk to download your guide to fundraising!  

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