Charity Commission plans to meet RSPCA trustees to discuss campaigns

The regulator said that although its assessment of a complaint made against the animal charity in February was closed it wanted to discuss the wider issues that the case had raised

RSPCA headquarters
RSPCA headquarters

The Charity Commission plans to meet the RSPCA’s trustees "soon" to discuss the animal welfare charity’s campaigning activities.

The news comes after the regulator yesterday rejected a complaint made against the RSPCA by the National Farmers' Union about its campaigns against the badger cull and the export of live animals for slaughter.

But in a separate statement, the commission said it wished to clarify that although its assessment of the complaint made in February was closed, this did not means it regulatory duty towards the RSPCA had ended.

"We expect to meet the trustees soon in order to discuss the wider issues raised by this case and by the RSPCA’s activities in general," it said.  

"All charities have duties and responsibilities, particularly where they undertake campaigns in controversial areas. We will continue our regulatory oversight with regards to the RSPCA and will raise any further concerns with the trustees."

A spokeswoman for the regulator said the meeting was not about any one particular issue and would be about the RSPCA’s activities generally and the commission’s guidance on campaigning. She added that no date had been set yet for the meeting.

The commission met the RSPCA in January to discuss the charity’s approach to prosecutions, particularly its high-profile prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt in Oxfordshire. The charity said the regulator had "expressed no concern" about the decision to prosecute.

At the same meeting, the charity told the commission there was "absolutely no political motive" for the prosecution.

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