Thursday, 29 November 2012
CHARITY COMMISSION BROUGHT INTO DISREPUTE FOR NOT TAKING ACTION AGAINST RSPCA
Farmers’ Union Wales has criticised the Charity Commission's "blessing" of RSPCA's “misleading campaigning” against the badger cull, saying the campaign brings the whole charity sector into disrepute.
The union was responding to comments made by RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant in a Panorama documentary last week, when he said the charity would “name and shame” those involved in the cull in England.
FUW animal health and welfare committee chairman Catherine Nakielny said: “There is no doubt whatsoever that these threats have brought the RSPCA into extreme disrepute amongst farmers.”
She accused the Commission of having an “anything goes” policy because it had not taken action against the charity following previous complaints about its campaigning activity.
Nakielny went so far as to say: “When an organisation becomes this radicalised and openly threatens an entire community then that not only brings the charity into disrepute but also undermines the very principles we all associate with charitable behaviour. It basically brings all registered charities and the body which governs them into disrepute.”
She added: “For those thousands who feel intimidated by theRSPCA's escalating threats, the actions of the charity are anything but charitable, yet the Charity Commission seems happy to give such extremism its blessing.
“If the Charity Commission believes that it does not have the powers to effectively deal with such aggression then it should seek to extend its powers.”
Charity Commission responds
A Charity Commission spokeswoman said that the regulator had “had a handful of complaints about the RSPCA in relation to the proposed badger cull” but that charity law permits charities to campaign and that “on the evidence we have seen, we believe the RSPCA’s involvement falls within the scope the law permits”.
She added: “We recognise that the charity’s campaign against the badger cull has been high-profile and controversial, and that it is likely to have had an impact on the charity’s reputation – this is for the trustees to manage.”
Responding to the accusation that the Commission had not acted appropriately she said: “Their complaint has been reviewed by a different Commission manager, as set out in our complaints procedure, who has replied to the FUW agreeing with the Commission’s initial conclusions.”
RSPCA refutes accusation of extremism
The National Farmers’ Union also voiced its concerns about the RSPCA, following the broadcast of the Panorama documentary. Director of policy Martin Haworth said: “With these comments RSPCA’s chief executive has overstepped the mark and in doing so confirmed our worst fears that the RSPCA is no longer a responsible organisation with animal welfare at its core.”
Posted by Animal Owners Against Persecution at 09:01