RSPCA Million Paws Walk
A great family day and lots of fun for the dogs, but why not keep the rest of the animals off the menu?
We often refer back to the Dark Ages, but it's still pretty dark at the RSPCA Million Paws Walk. There is the absolute beauty and delight of seeing hundreds of happy and excited dogs having a great day out with their loved ones - no doubt about that! But there in the midst of all this endearing human-animal bonding is a BBQ heaped high with the bodies of many other animals. Maybe they aren't dead dogs, but other animals just as intelligent and just as capable of feeling pain and pleasure. And to add insult to the suffering and death of these animals the RSPCA is in partnership with those companies who produce these products - Pace Farms and Otway Pork (see “In bed with the abusers”)
The RSPCA had a great beginning and worked hard for well over a hundred years to gain the public’s trust and confidence. Indeed they are the only animal organization in Victoria entrusted by law to prosecute cruelty matters (Section 24 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act). Many volunteers continue to work long and hard helping animals, however, RSPCA management is in a rut and it’s getting deeper and deeper. Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) wants to help pull it out and get it on the road again, so that indeed, all creatures great and small are in safe hands.
The public sees the RSPCA as mothers milk for animals, but in reality it has become a huge corporate money making business. The RSPCA was the largest non-government organization in Australia in 2004. Its national branch turned over $38.1 million, while the Victorian branch had revenue of $20.6 million. The RSPCA now pays high executive salaries, has well over a hundred paid staff, builds luxurious new offices and hires PR experts to produce flash TV and magazine advertisements and professional marketing staff to bring in even more money. This wouldn’t be necessarily bad if the animals weren’t lost in the equation. Tragically they are.
ALV, with scant funds and just two part-time paid staff members, continually present the RSPCA with eye witness evidence, video footage, photographs, statutory declarations and vet reports documenting serious cases of cruelty and animal neglect and abandonment only to be ignored and told the “percentage” of animals suffering isn’t high enough to warrant their attention.
Something has gone very wrong and the animals are paying the price, that’s why ALV will continue to do all we possibly can to get the RSPCA back on track.
And so, each year ALV sets up it's own marque on the fringes of the RSPCA's event (it is held at Albert Park Lake, which is a public space) and offers free show bags, DVDs and mock ‘meat’ samples which are distributed to the crowds to show the public that there is no need to throw the abused bodies of animals on the barbeque hot-plate. ALV’s beautiful lettuce ladies serve free samples of Fake chicken for Real animal lovers to the gathering. ALV makes its presence felt to let the public know that the RSPCA is ignoring vital evidence of shocking animal cruelty on a massive scale.
Regarding a previous Million Paws Walk demonstration, ALV President Patty Mark commented:
“There will be no dead bodies burning on our bbq in the park today. We’re here to greet and meet Victoria’s animal lovers to share with them our serious and on-going concerns for the majority of animals in our state. The Victorian Police recently came to our aid to rescue 55 sick and dying chicks found amongst 120 dead rotting bodies in a chicken production shed on the outskirts of Melbourne. The RSPCA turned a blind eye to these animals, and in fact they are quite possibly being served on the RSPCA’s hotplate today to make yet more funds for a once great organization that has truly lost it’s way. “
Campaign Manager Debra Tranter added:
“For too long the RSPCA has conned the public into believing they are there for all creatures great and small. Even dogs on Australia's largest puppy farm were ignored by the RSPCA for 20 years. ALV just had a major victory by securing a closure of this factory farm for dogs near Ballarat with no assistance whatsoever from the RSPCA. They even ignored substantial evidence presented to them in person and with statutory declarations by former employees. It’s a disgrace and an insult to the public’s confidence in them, but what’s most upsetting is knowing full well there are countless sick and injured dogs, chickens, pigs, sheep, lambs, cows and so on who are waiting endlessly for help from the RSPCA for nought.”