< > W155 - Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - http://www.rspca.org.uk

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Organisation Reference Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
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This information has been produced by the RSPCA and is presented in its original format.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals operates throughout England and Wales. It is probably most well known for its field force of uniformed Inspectors – with 320 officers it is the largest non-governmental law enforcement agency in England and Wales. However, these Inspectors, and other Society staff, are involved in a very wide range of activities including rescuing, collecting, treating and rehabilitating a large number of wild animals. For example, in 2000 the Society’s wildlife centres handled over 20,000 wild animals.

The Society can be contacted – on a 24 hour basis – via one national number: 0870 55 55 999. This number connects the caller with the appropriate regional centre; operationally the RSPCA is divided into ten regions. However, these centres are very busy. Over one and half million calls were handled in 1998. That is to say, every 20 seconds someone somewhere contacts the RSPCA about an animal issue. It must be remembered that wild animals in difficulty are not the only animals the Society is asked to deal with. Resources are limited and calls have to be prioritised so that it may not always be possible to respond as quickly as the caller would wish.

The Society also operates a number of animal hospitals. Some of these, as featured in the TV series, are dealing with the range of domestic animals as well as wild animals. However, it also operates three hospitals dedicated to wildlife – in Cheshire, Norfolk and Somerset. These are involved in developing techniques and practices in wild animal treatment, care and rehabilitation. The Society also has smaller animal centres that may undertake some wildlife care and rehabilitation work. However, there are areas of the country where it does not have such facilities and has therefore developed links with others involved in such activities and will use such facilities, provided they reach a suitable standard. The Society has supported various efforts to exchange information amongst those involved and to raise standards.

In a wider context the Society’s wildlife department – one of the technical departments based at the Society’s headquarters – has been actively involved in various issues regarding wildlife rehabilitation. These have included issues of National liaison with a wide range of rehabilitators both inside and outside of the Society, co-ordinating the Society’s work with oiled seabirds and providing technical assistance. This department’s work also involves actively working to reduce the numbers of casualties actually needing care. For example, we were actively involved with the problem of lead poisoning in Mute swans and the successful efforts to get legislation banning the sale and use of a wide range of lead weights used by anglers. We have also been involved in the more recent efforts to reduce the risk of lead poisoning to wildfowl arising from lead gunshot and Regulations covering this came into force in England on the 1st September 1999.

Dates Referenced August 2001
Contact Details Wildlife Department
Wilberforce Way
West Sussex
RH13 9RS

National Cruelty & Advice Line: 03001234999
Head Office: 03001230100. 

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