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An uniformed RSPCA inspector arrives. They may knock at the door or you will see them looking into sheds, stables and buildings. They say that they have had a report about your animals and would like to check them.

· Have they any rights to be on your property? ………………………….. NO!!

· Do they have any special legal powers? ………………………………….. NO!!

· Can they demand entry to your dwelling to look at your animals? … NO!!

· Can they demand that you answer questions? ………………………….. NO!!

What should you do?? Be polite, but very firm and refuse them entry. Tell them to leave. If they refuse you are entitled to use reasonable force to eject them, as you would any other common trespasser. If a policeman is present, ask him to leave unless he has a warrant, or is going to arrest you. Do not volunteer any information. Keep your mouth shut, Refuse to answer any questions. Do not even give your name. They may caution you and tell you that you are not under arrest, using the standard police wording. They may do their best to ignore you and talk over you, trying to goad you into giving answers to their allegations. The uniform, the caution, and the general demeanour are meant to intimidate you. You may feel that you are being helpful to let them in and have a look round and you may feel that you have nothing to hide but do not let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security. Many innocent animal keepers have lost their animals in this way. If you allow them in you are opening yourself up to problems which could lead to you losing your animals even if you are a good and conscientious keeper.

THE RSPCA DO NOT HAVE ANY SPECIAL POWERS WHATSOEVER.

Get names, numbers, and rank of any person present, write them down. Cancel going shopping next day, the RSPCA has a habit of returning when you are not there. People have returned to find all their animals gone and receipts nailed to a post or door. If possible move your animals to neighbours and friends you can trust.

What to do when they have left. Don’t sit down and think that is the end of it. Your battle has only just started.. Get photographs of all your stock, land and premises. Get your vet out to look at all of your animals and get him to write a report. Act immediately on any recommendations he has. The written report is essential.

Get specialist legal advice. Below are two phone numbers. We know of solicitors, barristers, and specialist vets and land experts who are accepted by the courts as expert witnesses. For any help :

0844 700 66 90
Should your number be automatically withheld prefix the above number wth 1470

Hopefully none of the above has happened to you, and we hope it never will, but please be prepared just in case. Do not treat the RSPCA lightly. They are an immensely wealthy and incredibly powerful organisation who openly admit to breaching people’s civil and legal rights.

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