Friday 12 November 2010

Mark Evans leaves the RSPCA

The show-world mostly loathes him, and pedigree dog reformers like me love him... but there's no doubting that you always know where you are with vet Mark Evans, who has just - and rather suddenly -  left the RSPCA after three years. Outspoken Mark will probably forever be remembered for his controversial description of dog shows ("a parade of mutants") in Pedigree Dogs Exposed and he got a lot of flak for it. But the world needs people who will stand up and speak out on issues they feel strongly about, especially when it comes to animal welfare. 

Certainly, without Mark, I do not believe the RSPCA would have backed Pedigree Dogs Exposed the way they did. I had contacted them before Mark joined and they had sent me a bland one-paragraph statement on the issue.  After he joined, I tried again and Mark phoned me back almost immediately: "I've been waiting 20 years for someone to make this film," he said and then galvanised the RSPCA into standing up and being counted on this important issue.

When Mark came to see us here in our home/office shortly before Pedigree Dogs Exposed aired, he spent the first 10 minutes on the floor smooching with my Flatcoat, Maisie. Evidence of a true dog-lover, I reckon. (Well, her breath ain't that sweet...)

I've spoken only very briefly with Mark since his departure and he says that he's proud of what he's achieved at the RSPCA (pet obesity was another big campaign for him) but felt it was time to move on. Officially, he's leaving to concentrate on his TV career (he's the accomplished presenter of Channel 4's Inside Nature's Giants for which he's currently filming another series). Unofficially?  He's not saying, but there's no doubt that there were those who were very keen to see the back of him. Mentioning no one's specific name from the Kennel Club, of course.

For a taste of the vitriol about Mark, have a look at the comments about his departure on Our Dogs' Facebook page. What nasty people. Hopefully, Mark is storing it up for a biography at some point. But, either way, I sincerely hope that the celebrations of those in the show world who have this week cheered his departure will be short-lived. After all, a Mark Evans unconfined by the strictures and politics of the RSPCA could be an even greater force to be reckoned with.


  1. I agree, he may well have much more of an influence outside the RSPCA.
    Those show people are so odd the way they think. I cannot understand why they cannot appreciate that Mark - and you - have dogs' best interests at heart.
    It's awful, all that unpleasantness on the Facebook page. So narrow-minded.
    Julia Lewis

  2. May be You and Mark do have the best interests of dogs at heart, but, do the RSPCA ???
    They are far too interested in political stuff these days (dangerous dogs act !!! which is a total farse).
    He may be much better employed outside that organisation ??

  3. I am absolutely delighted that this person has left the RSPCA or was he pushed as an embarrassment to them. He has done more harm to the welfare of dog breeding than anyone else with his stupid comments. Now instead of the mutants he quoted he has sent the puppy farmers and back street breeders into overdrive churning our designer breeds by the thousands. We now have Labradoodles at £1100, cocapoo's, and every cross bred known to man, most charging far in excess of any of the pedigree breeds with nothing or no one to monitor it,none of the parents tested for anything the breeds may carry mostly as the owners would not know what they may have anyway. I hope he and the Jemima person can sleep at night!!

  4. Umm, what is a campaign against incorrect breeding of dogs if not political (with a small p)?

    To my mind the real dilemma is that by getting involved in the campaign we risk having less money available to give practical help to dogs needing veterinary treatment if both sides try to put pressure on us by threatening to tell all their friends not to donate to us.

    A campaign against (for example) breeding which increases the risk of caesarians doesn't help the pet-standard dog owned by someone on benefits if she needs a caesar today.

  5. just refering to the last comment a pet dog owned by someone on benefits, if they need treatment is that not what the PDSA do ? its the people in the middle with enough money not to be on beneifts but too much to qualify that have to pay the bills for their dogs, i dont support the PDSA either, i work for every penny in order that my animals have a happy life

  6. I notice that the comment I made about the harm that has been done by Mark Evans with the breeding of thousands of designer/first cross mongrels, has not been put on,what do they say about the truth hurts. This now confirms none of you are actually for dog welfare only sensationalism for yourselves, what a sad situation

  7. Independence can be a wonderful thing.
    I'm looking forward to seeing what Mark will achieve now he is unfettered by the politics of a large organisation.

  8. Margaret Sierakowski, Dalriach16 November 2010 at 09:08

    The level of the comments about Mark on the Our Dogs Facebook page is regrettable. And include libellous things about his professional ability as a vet. How can people who sink to this level have a right to complain about anything Mark said about show bred dogs?

  9. Yes (to Anonymous) - one of the things the RSPCA does is to help animals whose owners can't afford vet bills. Those animals benefit directly.

    A successful campaign against selecting dogs for traits which are likely to cause them to need veterinary treatment would also benefit dogs (but wouldn't help those who have already been born).

    An unsuccessful campaign that just ends up with both sides trying to reduce donations to the RSPCA doesn't help dogs either way.

    I suppose one option would be to prosecute any owner who doesn't pay for appropriate veterinary treatment and have their dogs signed over for rehoming, but that also costs money.

  10. AS a major critic of Dog shows can anyone actually confirm if Mr Evans has ever been to a dog show? or is it just self publicity he courts?

  11. One can report hate mail and personal attacks on Facebook. On the page with the offensive posts , scroll down the page , and look for a small blue link that says REPORT on the bottom left side
    Choose the category of abuse, and report
    People who post hate mail and personal attacks can be removed from Facebook, and the whole Our Dogs page can be closed down

  12. The offensive posts about Mark Evans have now been removed from the Our Dogs Facebook page