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The RSPCA

Chat about nature...gardening, animals, birds - particularly if spotted around Ampthill

The RSPCA

Postby Sagitar » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:02 pm

Today I had my first encounter with the RSPCA and I'm left a bit non-plussed.

I went out into the garden this morning and found a female Muntjac lying quite still, close to the top hedge. I'm used to chasing Muntjac from the garden so I approached it, clapping my hands. This one moved, but only slowly and walking on three legs. The other leg was dangling loosely and looked as though it might be broken, so I moved away and it lay down again.

I called the local office of the RSPCA and was asked by a message machine to call a national number, which I did. I reached a multiple choice menu but without too much trouble reached a staff member who asked for details and promised to speak to an "officer". In a short while, I got a call back and was asked to approach the deer to see if it moved. I pointed out that I had already done that and that if I approached too closely it was likely to go through the hedge and be lost to sight.
The caller seemed to be concerned that if an officer was sent out and the deer then moved the time of the officer would be wasted. I replied that I understood but could make no suggestion for dealing with the injured animal otherwise. The caller said she would refer to an officer and said that in the meantime would we please monitor the animal and call the RSPCA number if the deer moved away. I agreed to do this.

I watched the deer until about 12:30, but had to go to the hospital this afternoon so my wife took up the watching post.

I got back from the hospital at about 5:30 and was informed by the missus that the deer had got to its (3) feet a little while earlier; had eaten some of her spring plants and then hobbled slowly through the hedge and out of sight. She said there had been no call from the RSPCA.

I called the RSPCA, told the operator what had happened and she said that she would cancel the earlier call. That seemed to be the end of the matter, other than that she asked me if I would like to make a donation to the RSPCA.

I'm left feeling very uncomfortable at the thought that the creature lay in my garden for 6 or 7 hours and possibly in considerable pain.

What should I have done differently?
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:33 pm

I guess they just don't have the manpower. Not sure what you could have done.

:(
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby Sagitar » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:12 pm

The saga continues.

The Muntjac returned this morning, but now it is lying in the front garden and it is dead.

I called the Central Beds Council, assuming that they would have some provision for disposal of the carcass but was told that since it is on my land, it is my responsibility to dispose of it.

Does anyone have any ideas about how I might do that?
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby Chorradas » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:15 pm

Sagitar wrote:What should I have done differently?


Well, you could have gone out with gun and shot the muntjac to put it out of its misery, but then the RSPCA would have taken you to court on a charge of animal cruelty. Probably a better course of action would have been to shoot the stupid RSPCA woman on the other end of the phone.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby old lutonian » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:28 am

What a horrible situation all round. Would a vet know? They must be used to dealing with carcasses.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby Sagitar » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:39 am

Yesterday I spoke to a whole range of agencies; Central Beds Council, RSPCA again, so that they knew what the conclusion was, the Environmental Agency, Defra, the Animal and Plants Agency, Citizens Advice and eventually was guided back to Trading Standards within Central Beds Council. They were all helpful in their own way, though some of them gave me advice that subsequently proved to be quite wrong.

Trading Standards have a responsibility for disposing of dead animals, but their remit excludes wild animals on private property, unless the animal is diseased. So not my Muntjac. They told me that I was free to bury the body in my garden, but it would have to be a very deep hole and I would have to give guarantees that it would not foul the water table.

However, a very helpful gentleman within Trading Standards gave me a contact for a commercial outfit at Toddington which deals with carcass disposal and I am hopeful that by this afternoon, the body will have gone. (Update at 13:30 - it's gone. I drove it over to Toddington and they charged me a fiver; what a relief)

I spent more than two hours telephoning yesterday. It could all have been avoided if my first call to Central Beds had been handled more effectively. My natural instinct is to behave responsibly, but I came very close on several occasions yesterday to concluding that all I could do was dump the carcass on public land somewhere so that it became someone else's problem.

I am amazed that the local authority does not set out to be more helpful to its tax payers in circumstances like this.
Last edited by Sagitar on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby Jurassic Pork » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Glad to hear that you got it sorted. If it was not diseased, I'm sure someone would have been happy to take it away for cooking. I have seen farming types collecting them from the road before.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby Sagitar » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:15 pm

Jurassic Pork wrote:Glad to hear that you got it sorted. If it was not diseased, I'm sure someone would have been happy to take it away for cooking. I have seen farming types collecting them from the road before.


I checked several "road-kill" sites, but none of them gave a contact for an individual who indulged in the practice.

One of the questions from the man who took it from me was "Why didn't you cut it up and eat it"? It's just not in my zone of competence.

The ticket that he gave to me indicated that the dead animals could go for feeding to zoos, circus animals, dogs, birds of prey etc.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby old lutonian » Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:40 pm

It was very bad luck Sagitar it chose your garden to "pop it's hooves".
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby Sagitar » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:37 pm

old lutonian wrote:It was very bad luck Sagitar it chose your garden to "pop it's hooves".


Thanks, your right. Not very good luck for the deer either.

We see so many of them, that I think our place must be on a Muntjac highway. They seem to suffer regular traffic accidents so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that one of them got hit close to us and came back to our place as a regular and easy food source. It looked like a healthy young animal and if the RSPCA had managed to get to it when we called them the day before, it might not have "popped it's hooves".

We'll never know.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby groutman » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:41 pm

My deceased father-in-law was an extremely dedicated animal lover, but I cannot tell you how much he despaired about the attitude of the RSPCA.

On many occasions, after he had rescued animals in distress, he was refused help.

In his opinion, they seemed to have a different objective, which was more political, rather than the actual protection of animals.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:55 pm

well that was a relief, bargain ta a fiver too.

Shame the council were not helpful. I am having problems with Somerset CC sorting out care for my MiL having just been discharged from hospital with a care plan that someone forogt to set up :evil: , and was amazed that some said there was nothing they could do at this late hour...ie she couldn't be put to bed.

Luckily there are some individuals that did excel and managed to get to her and sort her out at 10.45 last night after 1.5 hours on the phone last night.
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Re: The RSPCA

Postby groutman » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:05 pm

Northampton Branch Leader.

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