.Working with the RSPCA at the Bath and West Show 2011
reference: Subject: Feedback Report on “The Royal Bath & West Show” 2011
Please find enclosed in the body of this report, feedback & brief details of this year “Highs/Lows” & action points to carry forward, from attending the above Show.
A new venture & a pro-active way of a direct link in to preventative animal welfare.
A kind offer was given by the Volunteer Netowrk that should we need experienced people to assist in any RSPCA attended event then to contact. We trialled this new ‘working together’ partnership at the show & from an animal welfare viewpoint it has exceeded my expectations. From a management point of view it has let me scale down Inspectorate cover, leaving officers to be more productive & effective dealing with priority incidents over the extensive group area.
Scott & his team proved to be very effective ‘eyes on the ground’ (separate teams spotted dogs in distress, we were called, attended & removed the dogs on welfare grounds .1 x dealt with by way of a warning notice & the other with a file of evidence being submitted for a decision to prosecute)
Each team were given an initial brief, a contact list equipped with radios & high visibility RSPCA Logo vests/tabards. This (on feedback from MOP & show staff) showed a proactive presence raising the societies profile.
I was very happy with this response, but the credence needs to go Scott & his team, whose experience & professionalism shone through & especially to those volunteers who gave up their time to assist us.
I would wish for this partnership to continue at next year’s show & other events where practicable.
Action Point/s = Comms/radio cover was intermittent over the distance of the showground. Need to replace old equipment with new lighter & effective communication system.(to be utilised as a regional resource)
Royal Bath & West Showground:
As in previous years, RB&WS had made provisions & accommodated us well for the length of the show & corresponded/kept me informed building up to the event. An extra burden was put on the show providing entrance tickets for the volunteers but these proved to be invaluable. the Volunteer Network had the forethought to create volunteer/show I.D. for his team to identify each member & how they linked in to us. If these could be agreed & used next year it may negate the need for extra entrance vouchers ?(would the show/RSPCA be able to offset the minimal production costs?)
The Loose boxes, by the Horse Judging lines, proved invaluable over the show & were used 4 x to house dogs pending dealing with the owners. They were cool, quiet & escape proof & next to our allotted parking area.
Comms with the Show ground were excellent & and alerting MOP’s over the main ring tanoy that we were patrolling the car parks/awaiting by their vehicle/s got an expedient return of chagrined owners, saving us removing the animal.
We attended 37 concerns of dogs in hot cars over the 4 x days. Verbal warning were given to 13 owners, 4 x dogs were removed. A waning Notice was given to one owner & a file of evidence has been forwarded to our HQ with a view to prosecute x 2 owners.
Radio Somerset on site (& at their centre) was very receptive to informing the public attending, not to leave dogs/animals in hot cars. Pieces to radio were given & played over the 4 x days.
The weather at the show was hot & temperatures bottomed at 72o Wednesday & ceilinged at 89o Friday. Temperatures of 137o were recorded within a vehicle where a dog was removed.
With the Volunteer Network's support, I was able to manage the incidents we received well with minimal Inspectorate cover. Thursday was the busiest day. Inspector Jo Daniel & myself dealt with removals/interviews on site. I had officers on standby for each day, but found they were not called as our volunteers were still able to patrol while we got on with the legalities. This had a positive effect on the group & to those working the days at the show. More importantly, a positive impact on animal welfare within the showground & within the group area.
Somerset Animal Health Team assisted us greatly & we had reason to call upon their statutory powers to remove a dog from a vehicle. As always, we value this close relationship & will reciprocate when & where we can.
I would like to continue this system for next year’s show & to foster a good working relationship with the Volunteer Network, linking them into other activities where, should they wish, can assist us positively effecting animal welfare. (Already agreed in principle to assist in the “Lynton Goat Roundup” Sept/October 2011/TBC)
Thanks also need to be given to the bath and west for there continued support; working together to ensure Animal Welfare is uppermost within the Bath & West Show & on the ground in the car parks. Long may it continue?
I would like to give thanks all that worked very hard & professionally over the Show period & I am looking forward to 2012. (Hopefully not as hot though?)
Chief Inspector John Pollock (330)
RSPCA Somerset & Devon Group (SSW/3)