Preventing cruelty over compassion?

SIR, — Your report ('Herald', February 26) about the unfortunate deer at East Mill, Morpeth, confirms that the RSPCA is concerned only, as the name implies, with prevention of cruelty and not with compassion.

The RSPCA Inspector was no doubt doing the job in the way he had been trained — by recommending that the deer be shot was in fact preventing cruelty. It is impossible to be cruel to a dead animal.

Perhaps the Inspector had the Hunting with Dogs Act in mind. Does that not state that the quarry has to be shot immediately it is possible after being hunted by a maximum of two dogs?

Your report tells a very sad story, but had three dogs attacked the deer and not just one, it could have had a happy ending for Douglas Batchelor of the League Against Cruel Sports (whose letter was published in your edition of February 19), because the dog owner could then have been prosecuted under the Hunting Act. How absurd.

Incidentally, does the title Royal Society prevent the RSPCA from operating outside of the UK? Is this the reason for taking no action against bull fighting, which is a spectacle of cruelty for the sake of cruelty? Or is it because the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA are so short of funds due to the harassment of hunting people (leading to the reluctance of those same people to donate) that no publicity is ever seen against bull fighting or the use of migrant birds as moving targets for sport shooting?

NORMAN F. BATEMAN

Morpeth