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WSPA and RSPCA make joint statement over bolt guns

Following last week’s report that the RSPCA is to be investigated by police for its part in the GSD and bolt gun furure, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the RSPCA have issued a joint statement to the press.

‘Following some inaccurate media reports on a case from earlier in the year, which sadly required the RSPCA to euthanise 10 German Shepherd dogs, the RSPCA and WSPA wish to make the following statement.

‘Reports that WSPA has been critical of the RSPCA on the use of captive bolt guns are incorrect. Both our organisations appreciate that sometimes there are sad and extremely difficult circumstances where this method of putting an animal to sleep is necessary.

‘WSPA's views on bolt gun use: WSPA believes effective and humane use of a bolt gun requires a specialist combination of skills; knowledge of anatomical variation in dog breeds, as well as thorough training in humane slaughter and dog handling.

‘RSPCA inspectors are incredibly well trained and should be considered specialists.Inspectors at the RSPCA are trained to use these devices using protocols developed with the Humane Slaughter Association for a range of species. They are also trained to consider all other methods available and select the most humane and safe method depending on the situation.

‘The RSPCA does not use captive bolts as a matter of course. They are used only when other options are not suitable, and generally where they are used, it is mainly with farm animals.
Captive bolts are not used for euthanasia of dogs in WSPA projects, and not listed as an acceptable method for euthanasia in the WSPA guidance (on the International Companion Animal Management - ICAM website).This is because the bulk of WSPA's stray dog work is carried out in developing countries. As such, WSPA highlights humane slaughter methods that require less specialist knowledge in order to give the chance of a humane death to as many animals as possible.”

‘Working together for animal welfare. The RSPCA and WSPA do an enormous amount of good work for animals across the world. Examples of current campaigns include both organisations working to introduce animal welfare legislation in China, or tackling global farm animal welfare issues such as the long distance transport of live animals for meat, as well as helping stray and neglected animals whether in the UK or overseas. The RSPCA is a UK member society of the WSPA, which is the world's largest alliance of animal welfare organisations.’


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