Patty Mark Responds
Animal Liberation Victoria's President Patty Mark addresses the RSPCA's attempt to mislead the public about the Tolmie horses.
by Patty Mark
The current RSPCA Victoria website article regarding the Tolmie Horse Case is misleading at the least and downright lies at the worst. Here, Patty Mark, President of ALV replies to the smokescreen the RSPCA is putting out to cover up their inadequate handling of a serious animal abuse case where several animals suffered to their death and others are still in dire circumstances. The RSPCA website comment is in bold and ALV's response follows.
RSPCA: RSPCA WEBSITE Tolmie Horses: Recent Case Updated - August 30 2006.
It was reported in the Herald Sun [August 30] that Animal Liberation President Patty Mark would complain to the State Ombudsman in regards to this case. RSPCA would welcome a review by State Ombudsman, as the true facts of this case would then be revealed.
ALV is currently in contact with the State Ombudsman regarding this case as are several other bodies and individuals concerned about the Tolmie horses. The Ombudsman informed us it was outside their jurisdiction however to deal with lies and misinformation on a website and we would have to "take that up with the RSPCA" ?!
RSPCA: Animal Liberation provided photos to the Herald Sun that were taken back in June 2006, our photographs were taken on August 23. We are also aware that a media outlet took footage in June 2006 that shows the same images.
There were two photos taken by ALV featured in the Herald Sun on August 30. The main photo of the emaciated pregnant gray mare was taken by me on Tuesday August 22, 2006 in the company of several other people. The second smaller photo of the Clydesdale mare, who collapsed before our eyes, was taken on June 3, 2006 shortly before this emaciated horse who was groaning in pain was put down by a vet.
RSPCA: The white/gray horse shown in the photo’s taken on June 2006 is included in our photographs taken on August 23rd so you can see that vast improvement.
This is a complete lie, this horse had not improved under the care of the RSPCA, this is the same horse who was removed from the property on August 30th by persons unknown and dropped off at a reputable horse sanctuary where an equine vet rated the horse in a one condition on the horse standard scale - the scale goes from one to five, with one being the poorest, five considered obese, and three to three and a half considered optimal condition. The neighbor across the road who viewed this horse daily and has also photographed her says the horse only deteriorated on the property. Sadly this horse was is such poor condition that her foal was born dead. However, thanks to the expert care she has now been receiving, in just three weeks she has gone from a rating of one to a rating of two and a half, hi lighting the inadequacy of the RSPCA's supervision.
RSPCA: This case involves more than 30 horses and the majority have improved dramatically since June 2006.
The RSPCA admits here there are more than 30 horses involved, yet in their most recent update on their website, none of the individual horses are identified and shown in 'continuity', meaning the photos do not match up with previous photos for comparison. Furthermore, the current update on the RSPCA only shows 10 horses, where are the other 20 and why isn't their condition pictured on the website?. It is well known in the area that the hoarder involved has the animals placed in several different locations, and then there is also a long ravine running along the backs of several neighboring properties.
RSPCA: We are disappointed that the newspaper did not use independent photographs or show that the majority of horses have improved but instead used Animal Liberations images taken in June. If the newspaper had of used independent photographs the true story would have been revealed.
Again, this is an outrageous statement. The lead photograph used by the Herald Sun of the starving pregnant gray mare was taken on August 22, 2006, not in June. The RSPCA themselves, cannot even prove on their own website that the majority of the horses have improved, instead they only have the photos of 10 random horses, and they admit that one of these is in poor condition.
RSPCA: We were aware that Animal Liberation President Patty Mark, had distributed misinformation and out-dated photos to individuals and the media. This is part of her personal campaign against Dr Hugh Wirth, which has previously resulted in a physical attack on him. It is extremely disappointing that an animal rights group would use its resources in a personal campaign against an individual that has dedicated his life to animal welfare and contributed more than 35 years to the RSPCA on a voluntary basis.
I have never distributed misinformation or outdated photos to anyone, much less the media! I have a high regard for honesty, and I have spent the last 30 years of my life working full time in a voluntary capacity to help animals in need. This is my only personal campaign. It's a cheap throw away shot by the RSPCA to try and act like either myself or ALV have a personal vendetta against Hugh Wirth or the RSPCA; nothing could be further from the truth. The only reason I give the RSPCA or Hugh Wirth one second of my time is because
they are the legal authority in the Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act who are able to prosecute cruelty to animals - I can't do this, neither can ALV. Also while the RSPCA continues to hold public and legal confidence for helping animals, I owe it to any animal in need to make sure they do! Furthermore I abhor violence of any kind and follow a vegan lifestyle, and would never physically attack anyone, especially an elderly man.