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Old 25th March 2020, 07:15 PM   #281
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Apologies if this was mentioned and I missed it, but what should Maugham have done when he discovered the fox?
Brought a private prosecution against it, apparently.
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Old 26th March 2020, 05:07 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Apologies if this was mentioned and I missed it, but what should Maugham have done when he discovered the fox?

Called the RSPCA and they would have sent someone round to deal with it appropriately.
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Old 26th March 2020, 05:19 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Shepherd View Post
It would probably be somewhat reasonable to assume that a well known barrister would have the resources to be able to mount an adequate defense, though, as in could actually have a genuinely competent defense. ...

Actually that's a fair point. They might have backed off from him for fear of getting big legal guns against them. They often lose when someone they're persecuting gets competent legal advice. My senior partner was, I believe, the first person to defeat them in court. He said the evidence they were presenting was grossly inadequate and they appeared to think they could just say to the JP, yes we believe this company's product killed this hamster, so you should find him guilty. Maybe they just didn't have the stomach for the sort of fight Maugham was in a position to put up.

As for the rest of it, I think you're confusing "investigations" with prosecutions. The RSPCA most certainly does not lose over 99% of the cases it takes to court. That would be a scandal. It all depends on what they are calling an investigation. I imagine it includes a lot of routine checks on stuff.

I do wonder who they got to do the PM. As I said, they got me on quite a few occasions. They do choose according to the answer they want though. Our lab had the reputation of only letting them prosecute where there was solid evidence to support a prosecution.

Also, as I said, I have experience of one case where they got us to do the post mortems, were in receipt of a report that said categorically there was no evidence at all of unnecessary suffering, and then didn't get back to us at all. We assumed they'd dropped the case until I saw a report on the TV news about a couple of youths having been convicted of doing what our findings definitely proved they didn't do. Turned out they had withheld the post mortem report, told the accused that they had evidence, and manipulated them into pleading guilty. That's kind of the opposite situation from this case, but it shows how they play things.
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Old 26th March 2020, 05:48 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Thankfully the world doesn't run off of either of your beliefs. It runs off of the available evidence, and again, you've presented nothing to support your view. You've appealed to yourself as an authority, which you aren't
I think she kind of is. It was her job.


As to your accusations of fallacy:

If you're not going to take into account the opinion of experts, calling every such reference a fallacy, then how do you know how many atoms a carbon molecule has?
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Old 26th March 2020, 05:51 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by rockinkt View Post
^This is what I expect to see on a site that is supposedly dedicated to logic and the scientific method.^

Cool. how do you know how many atoms in a molecule of carbon? You've obviously checked it yourself.
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Old 26th March 2020, 06:12 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You can't imagine? It was my job. I have done many such post mortems. I don't have to imagine.

The entire point I am trying to get across is that it is absolutely inconceivable that there was evidence that this fox was rendered immediately insensible by a single blow. I mean basically forget it. If it had been an ordinary backyard poultry keeper, the RSPCA would have had his arse in parsley.

However, it seems normal RSPCA modus operandi, which is pursue a prosecution with even the slightest evidence of unnecessary suffering, and frankly sometimes with none and sometimes against the report of the post mortem saying clearly that there was no suffering, is suspended when it's a prominent barrister involved.

Quelle surprise.
Right, a conspiracy theory. I caught it the first time.

Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I think she kind of is. It was her job.


As to your accusations of fallacy:

If you're not going to take into account the opinion of experts, calling every such reference a fallacy, then how do you know how many atoms a carbon molecule has?
First off, I have no idea if it was her job, and I don't really care. Secondly, I am taking into account the opinions of experts. Specifically, the ones that actually saw the body, did the investigation, appealed to third party resources, and came to the conclusion. What I'm not doing is taking into account someone that hops on and says, "but no though" with absolutely nothing to support it other than you and a mod saying she's an expert.

She can be an expert all she ******* wants, but what she wasn't was involved in the investigation. She's standing peripherally, without the full information, claiming this organization let this man off (with nothing at all to support her opinion) because he was of note. Completely disregarding the multiple experts involved in the investigation. Again, if you want to believe her, knock yourself out. Just because I don't doesn't make me wrong. In fact, every bit of actual evidence presented here supports the decision they made. The only ones saying the opposite have provided, literally, **** all other than their opinion.
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Old 26th March 2020, 06:52 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
First off, I have no idea if it was her job, and I don't really care.

I think you probably should before dismissing her opinion, don't you?

Then, before you dismiss that as an appeal to authority, try to work out what you'd actually know from first priciples if you never trusted any expert about anything.


In short, I don't think you understand the 'appeal to authority' fallacy quite as well as you think you do.
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Old 26th March 2020, 07:06 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Called the RSPCA and they would have sent someone round to deal with it appropriately.

How quickly do they send people 'round, typically?

If the people they send 'round stop for a coffee on the way, do they get prosecuted for the unnecessary extra ten minutes of the trapped animal's suffering that would inevitably cause?
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Old 26th March 2020, 07:08 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
How quickly do they send people 'round, typically?

If the people they send 'round stop for a coffee on the way, do they get prosecuted for the unnecessary extra ten minutes of the trapped animal's suffering that would inevitably cause?

From where did you get the information that people are going to 'stop for coffee' (is that a euphemism? Why the quotes?).

What makes you think it's likely?
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Old 26th March 2020, 07:46 AM   #290
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Called the RSPCA and they would have sent someone round to deal with it appropriately.
Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
How quickly do they send people 'round, typically?

If the people they send 'round stop for a coffee on the way, do they get prosecuted for the unnecessary extra ten minutes of the trapped animal's suffering that would inevitably cause?
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
From where did you get the information that people are going to 'stop for coffee' (is that a euphemism? Why the quotes?).

What makes you think it's likely?
Aside for the fact that I'm 100% with Rolfe on everything else it should be noted that there is absolutely no requirement at all to call the RSPCA if you find a trapped fox on your land in the UK.

You should call a suitably qualified individual, and perhaps the RSPCA would be in a position to advise you, but a google search for pest controllers in your area will suffice. You should look for RSPH level 2 qualification as a minimum and membership of the BPCA. The BPCA website is a great resource.

If you can't be arsed, then you are at liberty (as can be seen in this thread) to bash it's head in with a baseball bat as long as you can do so assured that it will not suffer unnecessarily. It should be shot as soon as safely possible.

What you most certainly shouldn't do is light the blue touch paper by letting it go.
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Old 26th March 2020, 07:47 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
This one is just so much the flip-side of their usual modus operandi. It's wonderful to be a barrister.
On the other hand, it's extremely terrible to be one of the many people who did nothing wrong and yet were hounded in the courts by a fanatical RSPCA. Maybe this guy did nothing wrong, and was also lucky enough to have status the RSPCA couldn't ignore.

Meanwhile...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Called the RSPCA and they would have sent someone round to deal with it appropriately.
... even the RSPCA agrees this guy dealt with it appropriately all on his own.

---

I also question the premise that the RSPCA has a monopoly on appropriate dealings with pest animals. Private citizens should retain the right to crack a pest over the head, tweet about, and move on; without having to consult an unethical and litigious pseudo-governmental organization.

I'm fascinated that on the one hand you paint the RSPCA as an abusive organization that characteristically oversteps the bounds of justice and morality; and on the other hand you still insist that they should be recognized and appealed to as a legitimate authority.

It's like they're secret police. If you're a regular citizen, you damn well better tell the secret police about your every pecadillo. If you don't, they'll make your life a living hell for it. But if you're one of the fortunate elites, then sometimes you can actually tell the secret police to piss off.

I can understand adopting such a strategy as a pragmatic thing. Recognizing the nature of the secret police and the power differential between them and you.

What I can't understand is your argument that we should go along with the secret police even when we don't have to, because it's still the moral thing to do.

If there's one thing I've learned from this thread, it's that it may be pragmatic to submit to the RSPCA, but it's never moral to submit to the RSPCA unnecessarily.

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Old 26th March 2020, 07:53 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You can't imagine? It was my job. I have done many such post mortems. I don't have to imagine.
You do have to imagine every single post mortem you didn't actually attend, though. Such as this one.

To be clear about your claim: In every single post mortem you did, that involved a cranial blow to a small animal by an adult human male with a club, you did not find a single case where the first blow was effective in dispatching the animal.

And you have done so many of these post mortems that you can say, with statistical certainty*, that there is no way this single blow was effective. You can say, with statistical certainty, that the RSPCA backed down from a legitimate prosecution.

That's your claim.

(Note that the claim is unaccompanied by evidence. When I see a claim of statistical certainty, I expect it to be supported by statistical evidence. How many such post mortems have you done? Dozens? Scores? Can we see the records?)

---
*Obviously you can't say this with empirical certainty, since you didn't actually observe the post mortem, and you weren't privy to the RSPCA's internal deliberations about this case.

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Old 26th March 2020, 08:02 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
From where did you get the information that people are going to 'stop for coffee' (is that a euphemism? Why the quotes?).

What makes you think it's likely?
I think it's more hyperbole than anything. But it does raise an interesting question.

Presumably the fox is suffering while trapped in the net. What's more humane? Dispatching it promptly, or prolonging its suffering while waiting for the Animal Secret Police to arrive?

Is it incumbent on ASP agents to drop everything and respond to such calls with all possible haste? Could the ASP bring them up on charges of animal cruelty if they don't? Could the ASP itself be brought up on charges, if their policies don't adequately support this?

Does the ASP even have the resources to respond to all such calls quickly enough to ensure minimal suffering?
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Old 26th March 2020, 08:04 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Have you mistaken me for a supporter of the RSPCA? How could that possibly have happened?
My apologies. I see now that you are no fan of the RSPCA. And yet for some reason you still insist that we accept them as the proper moral authority in these matters.
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Old 26th March 2020, 09:11 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I think you probably should before dismissing her opinion, don't you?
I didn't dismiss it outright. I read it, I replied to it, I weighed it against the available information and I decided I agreed with the experts with first hand knowledge. I decided to not agree with the individual that is currently not providing any evidence other than that she is proclaimed to be an expert by others on this forum. I didn't dismiss her argument out of hand because she claimed to be an expert, I have, and continue to, dismiss it because it's not supported by any evidence. And, in fact, goes contrary to the available information.

Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Then, before you dismiss that as an appeal to authority, try to work out what you'd actually know from first priciples if you never trusted any expert about anything.
I have no idea what this word salad means. I'm not dismissing any experts. I have no idea if she's an expert. Again, something I've seen no evidence of other than your, whoever the mod was, and she claiming she's an expert.

I do trust the experts that were involved in the investigation, including the third party experts, and their conclusion.

Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
In short, I don't think you understand the 'appeal to authority' fallacy quite as well as you think you do.
Sure.
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Old 26th March 2020, 09:14 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I have no idea what this word salad means.
That's not word salad. That's your actual English making actual sense.


But it does make me see I can see I will have no success here.
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Old 26th March 2020, 09:19 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
That's not word salad. That's your actual English making actual sense.


But it does make me see I can see I will have no success here.
*checks notes*

Avoided all of my points.
Didn't address my rebuttal, cherry picked a portion and railed against it.
Thinly veiled ad hom.

I need two more for a BINGO.
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Old 26th March 2020, 09:46 AM   #298
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You just say "bingo".
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Old 26th March 2020, 02:26 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Aside for the fact that I'm 100% with Rolfe on everything else it should be noted that there is absolutely no requirement at all to call the RSPCA if you find a trapped fox on your land in the UK.

You should call a suitably qualified individual, ...

That's quite true. It's just that for most people in England the RSPCA is the easiest way to access such an individual. Some people earlier in the thread suggested calling a vet and indeed a vet might turn out to something like this but many vets would tell the caller to contact the RSPCA directly.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My apologies. I see now that you are no fan of the RSPCA. And yet for some reason you still insist that we accept them as the proper moral authority in these matters.

Really? Where did I say that? I acknowledge that their inspectors are not useless and that they are (among) the right people to call if you find yourself in this situation.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it's more hyperbole than anything. But it does raise an interesting question.

Presumably the fox is suffering while trapped in the net. What's more humane? Dispatching it promptly, or prolonging its suffering while waiting for the Animal Secret Police to arrive?

Is it incumbent on ASP agents to drop everything and respond to such calls with all possible haste? Could the ASP bring them up on charges of animal cruelty if they don't? Could the ASP itself be brought up on charges, if their policies don't adequately support this?

Does the ASP even have the resources to respond to all such calls quickly enough to ensure minimal suffering?

We have no evidence that the fox was suffering while trapped in the net. Maugham never claimed that while he was boasting about beating it to death. And yes, if an animal welfare organisation receives a call like that, it will be prioritised. That's part of their remit, to respond promptly when an animal may be in distress.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:07 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
*checks notes*

Avoided all of my points.
Didn't address my rebuttal, cherry picked a portion and railed against it.
Thinly veiled ad hom.

I need two more for a BINGO.

Well, apparently I was in a very arsey mood yesterday. Which is happening more often than it should.

I did have a point, I promise. I just failed entirely to articulate it. My aplogies.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:26 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Really? Where did I say that?
This is an example of what I'm talking about:
Quote:
I acknowledge that their inspectors are not useless and that they are (among) the right people to call if you find yourself in this situation.
Based on your accounts of their unethical persecution of people, I would not place them among the right people to call in any situation. But you still do. Which I find intriguing.

Quote:
We have no evidence that the fox was suffering while trapped in the net. Maugham never claimed that while he was boasting about beating it to death.
That's a lot of kremlinology to hang on one throwaway tweet. Is this kind of social media analysis a normal part of animal post mortems in Scotland?

Quote:
And yes, if an animal welfare organisation receives a call like that, it will be prioritised. That's part of their remit, to respond promptly when an animal may be in distress.
Easy enough to say that. But what's the reality? What's the RSPCA's staffing and coverage for this kind of call? What are their typical response times? Are they adequate? Animal suffering is a serious problem. We can't just handwave it away with "I'm sure the RSPCA is doing the right thing." Let's see some data.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:33 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Well, apparently I was in a very arsey mood yesterday. Which is happening more often than it should.

I did have a point, I promise. I just failed entirely to articulate it. My aplogies.
I understand this extremely well. Happens to me all of the time.
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:35 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
We have no evidence that the fox was suffering while trapped in the net. Maugham never claimed that while he was boasting about beating it to death.
I assumed (yeah, yeah, assuming makes an ass out of u and ming) that he came out in a rush because he heard the sounds of commotion and possibly the animal crying out. Though it could have been the sounds of the chickens in distress. We don't know and that's been my point all along. Despite you being an expert, you're still not privy to a fraction of the information outside of the tweet. Most experts I know won't make concrete statements without being involved.
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Old 27th March 2020, 09:18 AM   #304
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Sometimes an expert's concern for animals and justice is so big that it encompasses all such incidents, and they're always involved.
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Old 27th March 2020, 10:49 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
We have no evidence that the fox was suffering while trapped in the net.
With all due respect Rolfe (genuinely, I respect you as an individual and your profession) can you really envision a situation in which a wild animal was trapped in a net and not suffering? Extreme stress and distress if not even actual pain as they attempt to free themselves.
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Old 27th March 2020, 11:36 AM   #306
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If trapped animals suffer from being trapped, then we probably need to rethink the premise of "humane" catch-and-release mousetraps.
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Old 27th March 2020, 12:09 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If trapped animals suffer from being trapped, then we probably need to rethink the premise of "humane" catch-and-release mousetraps.
Not really. One can hold that suffering is bad, but death is worse. Therefore inflicting pain or distress, while not ideal, is more humane than a painless killing.
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Old 27th March 2020, 01:02 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Not really. One can hold that suffering is bad, but death is worse. Therefore inflicting pain or distress, while not ideal, is more humane than a painless killing.
One can certainly hold that, but if one does, then I question one's premise.

The trend among humans, who can actually reason in the abstract about death and suffering, and who actually experience existential angst, is towards death being better than suffering. My evidence is the growing acceptance of euthanasia, and the normalization of DNR instructions.

Stipulating that animals do not fear death the way humans do, nor experience the loss of a loved one the way humans do, but do in fact suffer in their own way while still alive, it seems to me that a swift and painless death would be much more humane than enforced suffering.

Disney movies aside, it's not like the ghost of that mouse will bear you a grudge for ending its life too soon (which means what, exactly, in the context of a mouse's life?). It's not like the mouse's family will have a grievance against you for it.
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Old 27th March 2020, 01:38 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
One can certainly hold that, but if one does, then I question one's premise.
I thought it was obvious I was talking about temporary suffering. Dogs don't like having their nails clipped but we don't euthanize them instead, on the principle that causing any pain or distress is worse than killing them.
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Old 28th March 2020, 03:33 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If trapped animals suffer from being trapped, then we probably need to rethink the premise of "humane" catch-and-release mousetraps.
Perhaps, especially since release trapped mice outside is apparently a death sentence. But I was directly responding to the suggestion that a fox trapped in a net wasn't suffering rather than the subsequent comparison of levels of suffering.
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Old 28th March 2020, 04:32 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

Based on your accounts of their unethical persecution of people, I would not place them among the right people to call in any situation. But you still do. Which I find intriguing.
The people who come out to deal with an incident are not necessarily the same people who would decide whether to prosecute an individual.

Whilst there are certainly many question marks over how the RSPCA goes about some of their activities (my better half works at a vet, so I hear some inside stories), they are still the first port of call for the average UK citizen regarding animal welfare. I'm not sure who else you would go to, unless a particular specialist organisation was indicated.
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Old 28th March 2020, 04:38 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
With all due respect Rolfe (genuinely, I respect you as an individual and your profession) can you really envision a situation in which a wild animal was trapped in a net and not suffering? Extreme stress and distress if not even actual pain as they attempt to free themselves.
Hard to say, really. Of course there would be some distress, depending on the circumstances. How long had it been trapped, was it in pain, was it able to move, was it injured? Freeing it from the netting would have stopped the distress, though again it depends on the situation whether doing that would have temporarily increased the stress levels. Then again, a nutter in a dressing gown swinging a baseball bat at it would not have been exactly calming.
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Old 28th March 2020, 05:49 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
From where did you get the information that people are going to 'stop for coffee' (is that a euphemism? Why the quotes?).

What makes you think it's likely?

My data storage unit indicates that human Earthican people-beings are reported to sometimes interrupt their surface travel to obtain (comestible fluid stimulant beverage) coffee in the course of routine business errands, and that doing so generally indicates a lack of elevated urgency in the task. Indications to the contrary, of high urgency, would typically be indicated by the activation of intermittent photon emitters and continuously-variable-pitch atmospheric vibration membranes on the surface transport vehicle. Has your own database been corrupted by the recent magnetic storm? Please perform a level three diagnostic.

Why what quotes? You added the quotes, you tell me.
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Old 30th March 2020, 09:38 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Hard to say, really. Of course there would be some distress, depending on the circumstances. How long had it been trapped, was it in pain, was it able to move, was it injured? Freeing it from the netting would have stopped the distress, though again it depends on the situation whether doing that would have temporarily increased the stress levels. Then again, a nutter in a dressing gown swinging a baseball bat at it would not have been exactly calming.
This has pretty much been my point the whole time. Rolfe was\is speaking in absolutes. Even by your post it shows that there is so much we don't know that speaking in absolutes is nonsensical. I'll have to work on my communication because I felt I was pretty clear about that the entire time.
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Old 30th March 2020, 10:10 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
The people who come out to deal with an incident are not necessarily the same people who would decide whether to prosecute an individual.
The police who come out to deal with an incident are not the same people who decide whether to prosecute. And yet bad cops do frequently evidence and incident reports unethically to give the prosecutor an advantage.

And that's without police and public prosecutors being strictly the same organization.

If an organization like the RSPCA has a toxic and unethical culture around prosecutions, how can we not worry that members of the RSPCA who come out to deal with incidents have internalized those same toxic and unethical values?

If you don't trust the RSPCA to prosecute ethically, why would you trust them to investigate ethically?

Quote:
Whilst there are certainly many question marks over how the RSPCA goes about some of their activities (my better half works at a vet, so I hear some inside stories), they are still the first port of call for the average UK citizen regarding animal welfare. I'm not sure who else you would go to, unless a particular specialist organisation was indicated.
Yeah, that's an obvious problem. It would be nice if Brits were more comfortable handling these things themselves, without having to worry about being on the receiving end of an RSPCA witch hunt if they dare not to engage the RSPCA.

In the US, many (most?) jurisdictions have an animal control agency as part of their local or regional government. These are the people you'd call if you wanted professional help with a problem animal in your neighborhood. Does the UK not have such non-partisan local agencies?
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Old 30th March 2020, 12:46 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The police who come out to deal with an incident are not the same people who decide whether to prosecute. And yet bad cops do frequently evidence and incident reports unethically to give the prosecutor an advantage.

And that's without police and public prosecutors being strictly the same organization.

If an organization like the RSPCA has a toxic and unethical culture around prosecutions, how can we not worry that members of the RSPCA who come out to deal with incidents have internalized those same toxic and unethical values?

If you don't trust the RSPCA to prosecute ethically, why would you trust them to investigate ethically?


Yeah, that's an obvious problem. It would be nice if Brits were more comfortable handling these things themselves, without having to worry about being on the receiving end of an RSPCA witch hunt if they dare not to engage the RSPCA.

In the US, many (most?) jurisdictions have an animal control agency as part of their local or regional government. These are the people you'd call if you wanted professional help with a problem animal in your neighborhood. Does the UK not have such non-partisan local agencies?
I explained, in detail earlier, that there is absolutely no need to engage the RSPCA and what alternatives there are.
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Old 30th March 2020, 01:27 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
I explained, in detail earlier, that there is absolutely no need to engage the RSPCA and what alternatives there are.
Thanks! I'm sorry I missed it. Anyway, I hope it comes to zooterkin's attention. (And the attention of the many UKians who are apparently unaware.)
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Old 30th March 2020, 02:42 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Thanks! I'm sorry I missed it. Anyway, I hope it comes to zooterkin's attention. (And the attention of the many UKians who are apparently unaware.)
It doesn't need to come to my attention; I was describing the reality for most people in the UK, that the RSPCA is the first thing they would think of. Given the contacts I have, I would probably consult a vet at my partner's workplace, but that wouldn't be open to everyone. bluesjnr is undoubtedly correct, too, as to the actual legal situation, but most people do not have that information, and probably wouldn't think to look any further than the number for the RSPCA.
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Old 30th March 2020, 04:11 PM   #319
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One animal tried to take another animals food and got killed. Happens all the time.
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Old 30th March 2020, 04:42 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
It doesn't need to come to my attention; I was describing the reality for most people in the UK, that the RSPCA is the first thing they would think of.
And if Rolfe's characterization of their behavior is correct, it shouldn't be. Maybe the reality of most people in the UK needs to be updated to have less reliance on the RSPCA.
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