Scottish animal charity attacks RSPCA

Scottish SPCA accuses RSPCA of 'stealing from the mouths of Scotland's defenceless animals' with fundraising campaigns

Animal welfare charity the Scottish SPCA has accused the RSPCA of "stealing from the mouths of Scotland's defenceless animals" by deliberately exploiting a common misconception among Scots that it operates in Scotland.

According to the Scottish SPCA, 70 per cent of Scots think the RSPCA operates north of the border. Stuart Earley, chief executive of the Scottish SPCA, said the RSPCA had recently run fundraising campaigns in Scotland but had not made it clear that none of the money raised would help Scottish animals. The RSPCA denied the allegations and said it did everything it could to avoid its adverts being shown in Scotland.

Earley said in a statement: "The RSPCA seems determined to portray itself as a UK charity, even if it is at the expense of animal welfare in Scotland. By advertising in Scotland, the RSPCA has been intentionally adding to the confusion to make money."

He said the RSPCA was in breach of Institute of Fundraising guidelines that require charities to be clear about where they work. "Occasionally using small print to tell the Scottish public it is registered in England and Wales is in no way explicit," he said.

He said the Scottish SPCA had been talking to the RSPCA about the issue for six months, but had made no progress. He said the RSPCA had also rejected the "basic and fair principle" that any legacies left to the ‘Scottish RSPCA' or ‘RSPCA Scotland' should go to the Scottish SPCA. "This has been increasing the huge pressure on our resources for many years and enough is enough," he said. "It's time the RSPCA told the truth."

A spokesman for the RSPCA denied that the charity had run Scotland-specific fundraising campaigns. He said: "Some digital channels don't allow adverts not to be shown in some areas, but we refer all Scottish donors to the Scottish SPCA. It is more trouble than it is worth for us to aggravate people."

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