Thursday 3 August 2017

One Man and his Dog

I don't have particularly strong views either way about the RSPCA but tonight's Panorama hatchet job on them was really quite something (and was certainly meant as a hatchet job).

Except for a clear mistake on the RSPCA's part regarding the bird of prey man, I wholly sided with the RSPCA against the 'victims' in John Sweeney's narrative - the woman with over 60 cats (far too many for their own good), the man with the dog that lay dead for two days while he was 60 miles away (in terrible-looking conditions).

I just didn't get it. Why was Panorama defending these people?

It felt like Panorama's barrel of 'scoops' was being well-and-truly scraped, and then re-scraped. 

30 minutes of one-sided, sensationalist reporting delivered by a star reporter (and his dog).

I'm sure there are plenty of things wrong with the RSPCA but this really didn't hit the mark for me. It threw me a stick but I'm not going to run after it and bring it back to the BBC, panting and wagging my tail.

Well, those are my feelings. Those of a blogger. Did any of you see it? What did you make of it?

P.S. **Disturbing image warning**

To illustrate the point Sisyphus is making in the comments thread below, he's asked me to post these photos of an urban fox doing what urban foxes sometimes do. One shows a fox cub playing with its mother's tail. The other shows mother fox bringing back someone's pet ginger kitten back for lunch:


  1. It's very weird - you'd expect the BBC to target the Countryside Alliance instead, although they have just had a pop at Ian Botham for shooting birds for sport.
    If the BBC really wants to take the RSPCA to task, they could look into the Society's utterly wrong-headed defence of the urban fox. We had a foxes' earth at the bottom of our garden, a couple of years ago. My wife and I spent many hours watching them bringing up their cubs and there's no doubt about it, they were great fun and, yes, cute. But there was a downside: the adults were foraging in dustbins and bringing back chicken carcases and, worse, the remains of take-aways, complete with wrappings - it was necessary to do a daily clean-up to avoid attracting rats. Worse still was the constant procession of dead animals they brought in: several cats, a kitten and one small dog - and that's only what we happened to see. The RSPCA claims that foxes don't take pet animals, only road-kill - well, drivers in our neck of the woods must have lousy reaction times! A French farmer we know doesn't believe it either: when they dig out foxes,(!) they regularly find a collection of cat and dog collars as well as bones.

    1. I live in rural France. We've got multiple earths and badger sets at the bottom of a field.
      Foxes are opportunist scavengers and they're lazy. They'll happily wait for mice and voles to pounce on after the field grass has been cut, but I've never seen them chase anything. Hunting, as far as a fox is concerned, is more like an ambush.

      The collars found in the earths are usually from road kill or pets that are in some way defenceless (young, weak, abandoned, crippled).

      We've got 2 cats who were born in a field and donated to us by their mother. If a fox tried to mess with the female, it wouldn't know what hit it ! She'd rip it to shreds.
      Our neighbour had a rescue cat that couldn't jump, and that disappeared after a few months.
      I don't think our foxes do take outs - that particular pleasure isn't available here and I've never found a pizza box.

  2. As soon as I saw it was Sweeney, the expectation became that it was just another vehicle for him to grandstand about something, subject matter unimportant.

    1. His twitter handle suggests he has a skewed view of what to be proud of.

      Then there is that N. Korea thing, which the BBC seemed totes ok with.

      Mind you... Jeremy Bowen.

  3. Panorama and Sweeney equals a toxic combination - best to ignore both I think.
    There was a time (long ago) when Panorama was rightly looked up to with respect but, sadly, no longer I fear.


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