RSPCA. Heythrop Hunt. Political agenda much?

It’s interesting to note that for every year on record on the Charity Commission’s website the expenditure of various branches of the RSPCA have exceeded their income . This is not unusual for left-leaning organisations – let’s not forget the RSPCA’s rumoured donations to the Labour Party – but it may explain why it is currently considering around 130 redundancies.

Given their finances are in such a state, one might think they would focus their efforts on the task at hand – the reason that most donators contribute a portion of their post-tax earnings – saving fluffy from abuse and giving refuge to ponies. This is not the case.

The RSPCA is currently launching one of the biggest animal rights related private prosecutions in history against the Heythrop Hunt , aka David Cameron’s local hunt whose kennels are just outside Chipping Norton, under the Hunting Act of 2004 – one of the most odious, illiberal, almost comically useless and truly class-war driven pieces of legislation in history. Despite their apparent financial turmoil the RSPCA is content to spend a huge amount of money on what can only be described as a politically motivated campaign, something outlawed by the Charity Commission. The case comes before magistrates in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on June 1.

I had quite an interesting chat with the RSPCA press team today.

Masquerading as a virulentleftwinger final year politics student writing a dissertation on the Ban and it’s enforcement, I asked for any information they could give me about the Heythrop prosecution. The answer, unsurprisingly, was no; the RSPCA would confirm only that the prosecution is going ahead because “these prosecutions cost us millions of pounds, we would not want to jeopardise this action…”
upon further pressing…
“well, I cannot tell you how much that will cost but more than a few thousand”.
Interesting, I said. What a worthwhile cause. Just a final question, however… Would she be so kind as to confirm that these legal costs are fully funded by charitable donations?
“Oh yes” she replied, rather too chirpily. I wished her luck and hung up.

It is an absolute scandal that a charity is choosing to spend its donations on high-profile political cases rather than the genuine protection of abused animals – the sort of abused animals that appear with huge doleful eyes on their evocative posters and campaign cards. It is also a blatant abuse of the court system which will further cost the taxpayer. None of those summonsed, nor anyone else involved with the Heythrop Hunt have even been questioned by the police or RSPCA over any of the allegations which all allegedly occurred. This is surely the action of a pressure group, a campaign force, not a charity and I truly doubt that most donators have a clue where their money is going. Going to do a bit of digging.

About Alexandra Swann

@alexandralswann Political commentator and columnist.
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2 Responses to RSPCA. Heythrop Hunt. Political agenda much?

  1. Kevin says:

    There’s an added irony here. One of the defendents, Julian Barnfield, the Heythrop’s huntsman, is married to Polly Gowers, who founded the fundraising website Amongst many animal welfare charities has raised (or facilitated) donations for the RSPCA and its many branches.

  2. Pingback: Felix says: keep hunting! – Telegraph Blogs

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