Debate tomorrow morning led by Simon Hart MP about the way the RSPCA goes about its business. Simon's main point is likely to be that the RSPCA should not be principally a 'prosecution' body rather than principally as a 'welfare' body - and that it behaves more like an animal rights organisation rather than one concerned with animal welfare. I suspect that I'm going to agree with Simon's speech. I have put my name down to speak, and hope to catch the speaker's eye, as we MPs say. Not sure what I'm going to say, until I hear how the debate is going - but I have an idea of one or two points I'd like to make. Whatever I'm looking forward to hearing what Simon says.
Since I was a young lad on the farm, I've always hated cruelty to any living creature. To this day I will not watch TV or films that involve cruelty to fellow humans or animals. I'm not even keen on David Attenborough showing the chase and kill that takes place in the natural world. This probably started with the ritual annual killing of the farm pig. Might mention that tomorrow. And I gave up the occasional rough shooting when I was around 20 yrs old. Its epically ironic that the Daily Mirror has branded me a "Tory Gun Nut". When I took over the family farm, I banned any form of game shooting on my farm. I was a keen supporter of the RSPCA.
But I changed my approach. I realised that my farm was not being farmed for wildlife. Wildlife was paying the price for my conscience. So I allowed the hunt and rough shooters back in return for investment in habitat creation. Same sort of irony with the Hunting with Dogs ban. Never been hunting in my life, but was so outraged by the ban that I've become an avid supporter of the hunt - though still never tempted to join in. And I've become disillusioned by the 'political' approach of the RSPCA. Anyway, quite looking forwards to tomorrow's debate.