We're launching five key pledges to improve the lives of millions of animals in England and Wales over the next five years - and we're counting on you to help us.
For nearly 190 years we've given hundreds of millions of animals better lives, rescuing them from unacceptable situations and finding them new homes. We'll always do that. But our new pledges mean we're also tackling the root causes of poor welfare, cruel treatment and neglect that so many animals still suffer in today's changing world.
You can play an important role in helping us to fulfil our pledges.
Take five minutes to find out how.
Farm AnimalsTo help consumers improve the lives of farm animals by buying products made from animals reared to higher welfare standards, we set up Freedom Food. This is the only assurance scheme in the UK dedicated to improving animals' welfare.
WildlifeWe rescue and rehabilitate thousands of wild animals every year in our wildlife centres. We also work to reduce the impact people have on wildlife. And improve the lives of animals that are traded, such as reptiles for pets, and those kept in captivity.
PetsMore than half of our work focuses on pets. Each year we rescue, treat, neuter and rehome more than 65,000 animals, particularly cats, dogs and rabbits. We also have four animal hospitals and many clinics that provide preventative care and treatment for pets.
Animals in laboratoriesWe want to see animal experiments replaced with humane alternatives. We argue for stricter questioning of the need to use animals. And we campaign for practical ways to replace animals in experiments. We want to reduce animal numbers and suffering while their use continues.
- 1835 We achieved a ban on bull baiting.1876 We were involved in changes to the standards controlling the use of animals in laboratories. And then again in 1976 and 2011.1990 More than a dozen changes to farm animal welfare laws have improved the lives of laying hens, pigs, chickens and veal calves. Buying habits have changed too.1998 Driftnets were banned which helped improve dolphin welfare. Dolphinaria were also phased out in the 1990s.2005 A law was passed to prohibit importing wild-caught birds.2006 A major RSPCA campaign resulted in a new framework law for animal welfare. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 means we can prevent suffering to animals in danger.
New world, new challenges
Today our work is in more demand than ever before.
New laws and technology have brought new challenges. For instance the internet has completely changed the way people buy animals. We now estimate that more than half get dogs via the internet, friends or neighbours, often without knowing anything about how to care for them.
Less than one-quarter get animals from rescue organisations like us, where they will be given all the help, information and support they need to look after their pets.
Inevitably the we have to pick up the pieces when reality kicks in and the animals are abandoned or mistreated.