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League Against Cruel Sports and RSPB bigwigs to quit

Two prominent figures at different animal welfare organisations have announced they will leave their posts.

Mark Avery, from the RSPB, and the League Against Cruel Sports’ Douglas Batchelor will both move on in the coming year. Mr Batchelor, who became chief executive of the League in 2000, will retire in July.

He said: “I will be leaving the League proud of what I have achieved as part of the charity and confident that the 2004 Hunting Act will remain on the statute book and that the League will continue to go from strength to strength.”

However, Robert Gray, campaigns director for the Countryside Alliance (CA), said: “There will be no tears shed at the CA for Mr Batchelor’s retirement. Perhaps he will join at least three former bosses of the League who stepped down and then admitted they got it wrong on hunting.”

Meanwhile, 52-year-old Dr Avery, the RSPB’s conservation director, wrote on his blog: “This year will see me pass a significant milestone. At the end of March I will have completed 25 years at the RSPB and more than half of that time will have been as conservation director. It has been great, and it continues to be great, but I feel it is time to look for new challenges.”

Dr Avery, who first worked for the RSPB as a scientist, will leave his post in April.

When pressed by readers of his blog, he also revealed that: “As far as I know I am not going to work for a windfarm company or for LACS! But I am in the position of not knowing what I will do next — that’s the scary and exciting aspect of my chosen position.”

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