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Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The RSPCA, the largest animal welfare organization, grew out of the humane movement's concern about abuse of working animals, entertainments (cock-fighting), and slaughterhouse conditions. Early bills were defeated, but the group formed by Revd Arthur Broome to enforce Martin's Cattle Cruelty Act (1822) pursued both prosecution and propaganda and the Society was founded in 1824. Princess Victoria's patronage, royal endorsement (1840), and burgeoning auxiliary societies outside London increased the society's prestige, and its influence began to spread overseas. A network of local branches and animal shelters evolved, and the crusade continues against transit offences and illegal sports, and for wild mammals' protection.

A. S. Hargreaves

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Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) British organization established in 1824 to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to animals. The RSPCA has its headquarters at Horsham, Sussex. Its inspectors investigate cases of cruelty to animals and, if necessary, bring offenders to court. There are similar organizations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

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