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SOAP OPERA & CYNICAL MARKETING

This programme is put to air by Channel 7 as if it is a Reality Show, but it is scripted and 'acted' by trained animals.

Aired on Channel 7 Wednesday 26 February 2008.

In this episode of Animal Rescue, the two dogs, allegedly kept in a cage for six months, were clearly healthy, apart from a skin complaint on one. Both were well-fed. Neither showed any sign of psychological damage or muscle weakness, through lack of exercise, which would happen in real life.

The little terrier, also a 'mistreated' dog, could certainly snarl on cue, but it - like the other two dogs - was obviously well-groomed and well-treated. Certainly these three dogs gave the wrong idea of how mistreated animals would look.

The 'exhausted' cow moved much too easily both in and out of the water. Why didn't they get a vehicle to pull her out immediately? Any farmer would have done that. Were those ridiculous plastic utensils supposed to keep the cow afloat?

A cow, trapped in water for three days, would have pneumonia. Amazingly this cow gave birth immediately afterwards, to a calf that was obviously over a week old!

Animal Rescue as a cynical marketing exercise designed to bring in donations for a society which has lost its former credibility in the eyes of many people.

Aired on Channel 7 Wednesday 5 March 2008.

The soap opera continued with the camera lingering on the bones of a long-dead horse, implying that several dogs tied up at a rubbish tip were there to die. Why were the dogs there? A drover tied them up out of town, so they would not annoy townspeople, and organised a carer for them while he was in hospital. A storm in a teacup.

But the Jack Russell dog was sick, suffering through its owner's ignorance.

This sad case led to a statement of the definition of Aggravated Cruelty:Neglect which leads to an animal dying or being permanently disabled or disfigured.

Animals which are not disabled or disfigured should not be killed by the RSPCA. Farmers must have the right to get their own assessment done before any slaughter takes place, not be ambushed by a cavalcade of vehicles from the RSPCA and government departments, with all arrangements in place for cartage and burial. How much training do these RSPCA Inspectors have in order to claime they are "Animal Experts'? And why are they the supreme authority over the Rural Lands Protection Board, the Department of Primary Industry and the Police Force?

Aired on Channel 7 Wednesday 12 March 2008.

Here was a charming cat having an amputation which would leave it to run on three legs for the rest of its life. What about all those cats - no doubt every bit as charming - with four good legs who are 'euthanased' every year? There are too many cats! Euthanasia is the RSPCA's answer but don't tell the viewers!

RSPCA's statistics for cats for 2005-2006:37% of cats were put down; this was 60.5% of the 61,000 cats taken in. Less than 2,000 were reclaimed – just over 3% of the total taken in.

32.5% of dogs taken in were killed by the RSPCA; that is 21,554 dogs 'euthanased' in one year.

A slightly higher percentage of these dogs were reclaimed by their owners. Was there a good reason to take these dogs in the first place? An interesting question. Just as a cat Merited an operation for the television, so did a dog, which would henceforth run on three legs. Well, good luck to that dog, but what about all the healthy dogs 'euthanased'? Animal Rescue creates the false impression that the RSPCA does everything possible for every animal.

Does this encourage people to neglect their pets in the belief that they will be taken in and cared for by these 'wonderful RSPCA people' who do it all for love of animals - not the large salary that the Inspectors draw.

In the first series an enormous amount of trouble and expense was taken to bring a cat, on the point of death, back to life. How does it sit with the statistics of cats that are “euthanased’?

So far, Wildlife Victoria has shown more expertise. The RSPCA ‘animal experts’ could not have caught the goose, in this episode, without help from Wildlife Victoria, whose representatives know and understand birds.