Today, I’ve received a very official pants letter from the CEO of the RSPCA claiming I’ve made ‘the false claim that the RSPCA supports, endorses or approves puppy farms’.
They are of course referring to my article ‘The RSPCA approves puppy farms’.
… Particularly, we refer to your misrepresentations regarding RSPCA’s approval or endorsement of puppy farms which are false and damaging to RSPCA’s reputation.
The RSPCA defines a puppy farm as;
… an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioural, social and/or physiological needs. Puppy farms are usually large-scale commercial operations, but inadequate conditions may also exist in small volume breeding establishments which may or may not be run for profit.
RSPCA Knowledge Base
However, despite the RSPCA believing they can own and change the meaning of a term as they see fit, a ‘puppy farm’ as the community knows it, is a farm whose ‘product’ or crop, is infant companion animals.
Like, you know, a sheep farm that produces sheep products. Or a dairy farm that has cows and produces dairy products.
A puppy farm. Where they farm dogs to make puppies.
Seems simple enough. Yes?
No? Well how about a dictionary definition?
Main Entry: puppy farm
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a place where puppies are bred for profit; also called puppy mill
Example: Snoopy was born and raised at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.
Thank you Dictionary.com.
From the RSPCA Qld website, launching the new ‘PIAA policy’ earlier this week;
Under the new policy, all PIAA associated pet stores must source their puppies from approved breeders who meet strict welfare standards and are subject to a yearly veterinary inspection.
RSPCA Qld supports the new PIAA policy for a number of reasons. Obviously we are not saying it solves all the problems. Far from it. However it does provide a useful stepping stone for the future.
We also believe that this will help drive the public away from internet and newspaper sales and of course the pet shops will no longer be able to purchase animals from unscrupulous backyard breeders and puppy farms.
(Because dog farmers who sell, pack and ship puppies to be flogged in pet shop windows are practically saints, compared to those who sell to the public direct, don’tyaknow)
But here’s the kicker. Those PIAA ‘approved’ breeders? Yup – even they refer to themselves as ‘dog farmers';
“We lead the way, there’s no question we are the flagship of dog farms. I think we’re being targeted because we are the largest and it is a moral issue of dog breeding as a whole, rather than any actual animal welfare issues.”
Colin Hams, PIAA approved breeder ‘Banksia Park Pups’
Puppy farms under fire ACA
Because that’s what they are. They farm dogs and produce puppies. They are puppy farmers.
So, the RSPCA would like everyone to:
a) redefine the use of the term ‘puppy farms’ to mean a place that farms puppies, but is not an ‘approved’ PIAA breeder
b) add a new term, which means a place that farms puppies, but is operated by an ‘approved’ PIAA breeder, so it should be called something else. I suggest ‘happy puppy play zone’.
c) understand they don’t support puppy farms, but do instead support these approved breeders who run happy puppy play zones
and finally, and probably most hilariously,
d) they want me to apologise
RSPCA Australia requires you to publish on your website, and in Facebook and all other forms of social media which you promoted your Saving Pets site, a correction notice and apology in relation to the statements and your defacement of the RSPCA’s registered trade mark by 5pm 2 May 2013. This correction notice should make it clear that the RSPCA does not, and has never, approved, endorsed or supported puppy farms in any way.
A photograph of a dog at Banksia Park Pups
puppy farm ‘happy puppy play zone’
So here we go – The RSPCA does not, and has never, approved, endorsed or supported puppy farms. It does however according to their own website release, ‘support’ PIAA policy and the associated use of ‘approved’ dog farms (or as we now know them, happy puppy play zones).
Approved breeders, whose farms produce puppies.
Not puppy farms.
Got it? Good.
Not got it?
Here, I’ve drawn you a diagram.
See! You can see the difference between a puppy farm and a happy puppy play zone is – um – well there is no difference, except some dog farms have PIAA approval. Simples.
Please feel free to share this post on ‘Facebook and all other forms of social media’ as a way of making this clarification on the RSPCA’s redefinition of the term ‘puppy farms’. I think we should all take a moment to thank them for leading the way in language manipulation, if not animal protection.
Editors note; the other legal directive from RSPCA National, was that I’d used the RSPCA ‘approved’ logo to mock up a satirical illustration of my point that approving puppy farms in any form was a ludicrous position for the RSPCA to take. While they assume dear reader that you are too thick to understand that this was in jest, they have me at ‘registered trade mark’. So I’ve removed it.
That said, I will not however be removing the original post as the RSPCA have requested, as I do not believe the organisation simply redefining the term ‘puppy farm’, invalidates my assertion that any farm who bulk-breeds pets for the pet shop market should not receive any RSPCA ‘support’, let alone be championed as providing “significant advancement in improving animal welfare” in the media.
If the RSPCA want to take me to court to dispute that ‘support’ doesn’t mean ‘approve’, and ‘puppy farm’ doesn’t mean ‘puppy farm’, then there is very little I can do about it except predict that it will be one amazing game of Scrabble.