My Week: Mike Flynn aims to stop the mistreatment of animals

The chief super-intendent of the Scottish SPCA recounts his week

Mike Flynn
Mike Flynn

MONDAY - I spend the morning viewing a potential location for a new animal rescue and rehoming centre. Sadly, there isn't enough space and there's no way of buying the additional land it needs, so the search goes on. In the afternoon I give a lecture to 120 veterinary students at Edinburgh University about their future role in assessing animals who have been caused unnecessary suffering. Reports from vets are vital when seeking a prosecution.

TUESDAY - The day starts with a meeting of the scientific advisory committee at Edinburgh Zoo, of which I am a member. The zoo has high welfare standards, but we like to ensure that any new developments won't harm the animals. I receive a report from one of our inspectors who abseiled 200ft down a cliff to rescue two pregnant ewes - both were returned to the farmer unharmed.

WEDNESDAY - I spend time completing our submission for the Scottish government's consultation on the licensing of airguns. Airgun misuse is an ongoing problem in Scotland: domestic and wild animals are regular targets of malicious attacks.

THURSDAY - I take part in a discussion on BBC Radio Scotland about whether animal cruelty is taken seriously enough. This follows the release of our statistics showing that one person a week is banned from keeping animals in Scotland. It's a lively debate and a number of listeners call in - including one lady who had been named and shamed for mistreating animals. Sadly, there is a small section of the community that either doesn't care or doesn't know how to look after animals properly.

FRIDAY - The week ends with a meeting with the Scottish government to discuss 'pet vending' - the sale of animals on the internet. We would like to see legislation introduced to regulate the practice because it is commonly used by unscrupulous breeders, often with tragic consequences for the pets involved. The meeting goes well and I'm hopeful the government will take action.

The Scottish SPCA is an animal welfare charity.

Mike Flynn is chief super-intendent of Scottish SPCA

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