Richard Martin was not the only parliamentarian with a passion for animal welfare. In this episode, we meet two more: Sir William Pulteney, who brought a bill against bull-baiting by dogs to the UK parliament two decades before Martin’s Act, and the charismatic orator Thomas, Lord Erskine (left). We delve deeper into Erskine’s convictions, and unpack the speech he made to parliamentarians in 1809—words and ideas that ring as true today as two centuries ago. We follow the contentious debates leading to the introduction of Martin’s Act, and its close call in 1821, which sent Martin, Erskine, and their supporters back to the drawing board. And we hear about the dramatic parliamentary maneuvers required to finally get Martin’s Act passed, and glimpse the outlines of the epochal meeting of animal advocates, which became the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) at Old Slaughter’s Coffee House in 1824.
Episode 2 is available on all seven platforms at the top of this page.
Advancing animal advocacy through intellectual and artistic expression