John Bryant, a veteran animal rights activist standing for election to the ruling council of the RSPCA, has called for all pets to be neutered and likened their situation to slavery. He wants pet ownership “phased out” and all breeding ended.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Bryant said:
“The human race has been a disaster for the animal kingdoms of the planet. Animals have been enslaved and they have been dominated by the human race.”
The charity’s 22,000 members are voting for five trustee positions on the 25 seat council. The winners of the election will hold the position for three years bringing responsibility for the charity’s leadership, direction and £125 million-a-year income.
The Times reports that of the eight candidates, five share a background of radical animal rights activism. Other candidates include a couple who founded a think tank looking into how “non-human animals can be represented in democratic systems” and a vegan with extreme views on farming.
Dan Lyons and Angela Roberts founded the Centre for Animals and Social Justice to research “democratic theory and practice in relation to the representation of animals’ interests.” Their proposals include creating parliamentary seats for representatives solely acting on the behalf of animals.
Peta Watson-Smith, a vegan, compared the farming industry to the Nazi Holocaust. Shooting UK reports that she said: “I don’t think people always appreciate what is the holocaust going on behind closed doors. You talk about the Jews. This probably sounds like animal rights, but if you recognise animals as sentient beings, why are we treating them so abysmally on farms?”
In the past the RSPCA has been criticised for pursuing a “political” agenda, including persecuting fox hunts, rather than focusing on animal welfare. Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Sir Barney White-Spunner, previously told the Telegraph that there is “something rather sinister and nasty” about how the RSPCA acts.
Tim Bonner, director of campaigns at the Countryside Alliance, recognises that the charity had started to rebuild its reputation and finances, returning to a focus on core animal welfare issues.
He told The Times:
“It would be a significant backward step to elect on to its council people determined to return the society to an extremist agenda.”