Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, March 26, 2009


This following item has been posted across the internet. I do not know whether it is true or not, but if it is true it is disgusting:

"I have received some very alarming news regarding the RSPCA’s decision NOT to treat any wildlife, Hedgehogs included

The RSPCA's new policy ( because of lack of funds due to the credit crunch) is to euthanise ( KILL!!!) all wildlife taken to them or picked up by them

They will not pay for any wildlife to be taken to a vet or wildlife rescue centre and inspectors & ACO ( Animal Collection Officers) have been told to kill all wildlife they get instead. The Inspector or ACO has to get specific permission from the duty Chief Inspector for the region/group BEFORE considering any treatment or rescue/rehabilitation of any wildlife. This is all to do with saving money. The Chief Inspectors are instructing euthanasia for almost everything.

I am really worried that RSPCA staff are being told to kill sick, injured, orphaned hedgehogs and all other wildlife. If they become ill, no matter how minor or easily treatable the illness or injury is, they will be automatically killed regardless, without even being fully or properly assessed. Even if just cold, hungry and underweight. What about those just waking up from hibernation? They are all just thin and weak, nothing else wrong with them.

The big worry that I have, is that a member of public rings the RSPCA control centre. The call centre staff don't know that a different policy is now in place. They take the call, pass it to an ACO or inspector. The inspector or ACO report back to the Control Centre saying the call has been dealt with. The public won't know that "dealt with" means euthanised, instead of taking the animal to a vet or wildlife hospital for care and attention.

I can understand that the RSPCA has financial problems. It is totally unacceptable to use Euthanasia because of a decrease in their funds.

We must all protest about this decision by the RSPCA.

It is now even more important to tell as many people as you can to feed and look after hedgehogs in their garden. We need to keep them healthy. Once they become ill, that is the end of it. They will not be treated or saved any more.

Please spread the word, ask all your friends and family to support their local wildlife hospital and local carers.

Please do NOT ring RSPCA for wildlife. Contact your local carer or wildlife centre"

We have since received the following comment from a RSPCA volunteer:

"No of course its not true. Where do they get these stories. For a start members of the BVA and some other vets do not charge to see wildlife during working hours and we have 3/4 HQ run wildlife units who take wildlife along with many branch homes and volunteers and fosterers. Go put them straight for me please if you get the chance"

Now, we cannot leave a rumour like this. In recent years the RSPCA have done a lot of things which do not overly impress me, and their attitude towards captive exotic animals does, in our opinion, leave a lot to be desired. But I cannot bring myself to believe that the above statement can possibly be true.

I would like as many readers of this blog as possible to telephone 0300 1230721 and ask for the Wildlife Centre Administrator, or telephone the advice line: 0300 1234 555. Politely ask them for a comment on the above allegations. Then tell us what happened.

If it is true then the result of enough people telephoning them on the same day to ask about this policy, will give them a `shot across the bows` that such a policy is unacceptable from an animal welfare organisation, in which the British people have put their trust. If not true, then it will alert the RSPCA to the fact that their current PR is not working, and that in the public eye they have changed from a relatively benign organisation, into a rather sinsister Kafkaesque one that - on the whole - people no longer trust.


Jon Downes said...

JAN EDWARDS WRITES: One thing to bear in mind (and what most people don’t realise) is that each individual RSPCA centre is a different registered charity, and operates under their own criteria. Headquarters can set standards etc, but they are only suggestions. Your local branch is self-ruling.

Headquarters may have policies for dealing with wildlife, but the local branch can make up their own policies, just using HQ as guidelines.

In the centre I used to work at (Doncaster branch), wildlife used to be given 6 weeks. If the wild animal was in need of more than 6 weeks treatment, it was routinely put to sleep.

If it was permanently disabled (Amputation etc), it was not given a chance – always Put to Sleep.

Hedgehogs which needed over-wintering for 2-3 months were always killed (more than 6 weeks in care) even though they were just too small to survive hibernation.

We often took wild animals from the public, nurtured them for 5-6 weeks, got them almost better.... just to watch the boss kill them because they were taking too long to get well.

This is why I left the RSPCA and now run my own (No-Kill) animal rescue centre.

Jan Edwards, Head of Animal Care
Farplace Animal Rescue -
the no-kill animal sanctuary

Farplace, Sidehead, Westgate, County Durham, DL13 1LE


tel: 01388 517397
mobile 07860 523434
Registered Charity number 1126812
Registered Company number 4397258

Naomi said...

Bless you for that, Jan.