If it only kept to its core business of preventing wanton cruelty to animals by those who get their jollies from such activity, the NZ SPCA would be worthy of respect. But it hasn’t done that for years. The leadership of this organisation is populated by animal rights activists who use it as a trojan horse to further their own selective perspective of the role of animals in modern society. That ethos, which in New Zealand emphasises the rights of domesticated pets over all other animals places New Zealand’s SPCA in staunch opposition to New Zealanders’ values on protecting biodiversity and natural taonga.
The SPCA’s indifference to environmentalism, biodiversity and protection of New Zealand’s fauna and flora taonga was cultivated during the reign of Bob Kerridge as the outfit’s Supremo. Since his relocation the organisation has failed to overcome the chasm between its values and those of New Zealanders, as reflected in numerous public opinion surveys and evidenced in the strong commitment by successive governments to conservation.
The SPCA is an organisation in New Zealand with a deep division between the work of its on-the-ground workforce of volunteers, and the politicised agenda of its leadership. Coming to the assistance of individual pets and work animals in human-induced states of distress takes up the bulk of the organisation’s volunteer and inspector time. But those traditional tasks have been somewhat overshadowed in recent years by the political agenda of the SPCA’s hierarchy – which is to oppose nationwide efforts to save and nurture our indigenous species. A couple of examples suffice to make the case;
Firstly the NZ SPCA still follows the abhorrent practice of TNR (trap, neuter and release) of stray cats. Despite the reality that cats, an introduced species into New Zealand are natural born killers and slaughter NZ’s native fauna for the sheer pleasure of the torture and the kill, the SPCA sees nothing wrong with supporting colonies of cats left free to wander, kill, maim and slaughter at will. Contrast this to the Australian SPCA for example that sensibly is totally against such an approach to cats – recognising cats as one of the greatest threats to native fauna. Why is it that under Bob Kerridge the SPCA here developed an approach that held the value of our native taonga in total disregard, and indeed regards the wanton maiming and destruction of our native species not as cruelty, but as “nature” at work? The answer for Kerridge was his fetish for companion cats, the answer for the SPCA – there is no justifiable answer – it’s a pure lack of leadership since Kerridge moved on.
And now we have this latest outrage by the SPCA. In total disregard of the evidence-backed conclusions of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Commissioner of the Environment, the Department of Conservation, Forest and Bird, the Regional Councils, and all other organisations committed to environmental protection – New Zealand’s SPCA has decided that it opposes the use of toxins to control pest populations and save our species. In total disregard for the impracticality of its suggested alternative, the organisation recommends sole reliance on the trapping technologies that have proven affordable only at very small scale. Further, the SPCA continues with its selective morality on adjudicating what “cruelty” actually is. It fully condones the type of cruelty inflicted by introduced pests in the accompanying video, because it apparently is “nature” at work, but opposes the only practical approach – using toxins – to rid the landscape of the blight of such pests. The hypocrisy of the SPCA in New Zealand should be ridiculed for the nonsense that it is.
As the Commissioner for the Environment has advocated, New Zealand needs to step up the best practice use of toxins to rid our large landscapes of the blight of introduced mammalian pests. If we don’t then we will lose more and more of our native species. The methods have proved their worth, they are succeeding where adopted, are a massive adjunct to the trapping and bait station techniques used in areas close to human habitation.
The SPCA in New Zealand needs to be sent packing. It is an enemy of conservation and the best way to ensure it sticks to its knitting of looking after the welfare of domesticated animals, is to keep cutting its donations back. Only then will the activists that drive its politics be brought to account.
New Zealand’s SPCA is happy for more of this to happen;