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David McDowell


 21st February 2013

We are very fortunate to have a member of our Forum who is adept at choosing a subject at very short notice and presenting a talk on his selection.

  At the very last minute David McDowell stood in for our advertised but unavailable speaker.

He gave us an excellent talk about his last employer before retirement, the RSPCA. He

specialised on equine matters but before moving on to this subject he told us some of the

history of the RSPCA.

 During the early 1800ís dogs and horses were the prominent hard working animals in

London . Due mainly to ignorance these animals were cruelly treated. But in 1824 a Society

for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was formed. From this time to the 1830ís owners of

dogs and horses were educated in ways of looking after these animals. Gradually this lead to

fitter well fed horses that had more enjoyable and longer working lives. There were still

recalcitrant owners and during the 1830ís Legislation was passed against animal cruelty. As

this was the period before Police Forces the RSPCA employed its own uniformed inspectors

to try and enforce the legislation.

Gradually the RSPCA expanded and educated people in the management of mainly working

animals. Although the society has a Head Office it is made up of many individual groups

located in all the major towns and cities of  Britain , each one funding its own area, therefore

creating many RSPCA Charities.

The animal welfare act of 1911 was not superseded until 2006 when a more up to date and

expanded act was passed. Although the RSPCA has been a tremendous organisation for the

benefit of animals one gets the feeling that the infiltration of left wing trouble makers has

begun to lead it in the wrong direction.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 7th March at 10-00am in Otley Methodist Church when Geoff Queen will tell us about his A to Z of Europe. 

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