RSPCA celebrates 200th birthday

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RSPCA turns 200

As the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) commemorates its bicentenary, the charity has released a video chronicling its remarkable history while looking ahead to future challenges.

Since its inception in 1824, the charity advocated for legislative changes, notably securing the Pease’s Act in 1835 – the first legislative milestone that prohibited cruelty to dogs and domestic animals, abolished bloodsports like bear-baiting and cock-fighting, and implemented higher standards for slaughterhouses. In 2021, the RSPCA was involved in the successful campaign to increase the the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill of 2021, increasing sentences for animal cruelty from six months to five years, thanks to dedicated advocacy efforts.

In the past ten years, an average of 111 pets find homes every day through the organisation’s network comprising 140 branches and 14 animal centres across England and Wales, adding up to the rehoming of 405,839 pets.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said, “These figures are amazing and we are so proud of our long history changing lives for animals, whether it’s through our education and prevention work, frontline rescue, rehabilitating and rehoming, or our campaigning – which has helped change more than 400 laws.

“We have sparked a global movement which has spread kindness to animals across the globe, but we are also in local communities, where our branches work tirelessly to help animals.

“This is a real moment of celebration for us but we cannot ignore the challenges ahead.  With the threats of climate change, industrial farming on a huge scale, war, wildlife loss, the cost of living crisis and the legacy of the pandemic, all animals face unprecedented challenges. And we know that our futures and the futures of animals who share our world are inextricably linked.”

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