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RSPCA may stop hunt prosecutions

The RSPCA is looking at whether to continue to pursue hunt prosecutions following a £11million drop in funding


The RSPCA is considering a change in the way they pursue hunt prosecutions. Ray Goodfellow, chief legal officer, told the Sunday Times: “We are upholding the Hunting Act, the law of the land. But others want to repeal it and we have been caught up in their political campaign.

“This is an issue we are looking at. There are also issues of proportionality and the economic impact on our other activities. If we spend money on hunt cases, that is less money for other work including prosecutions relating to pets.”

Just a month ago the RSPCA announced plans to restructure in a bid to redress a £6million net cash outflow, revealing it had lost £7million in public support in a year.

The RSPCA also came under fire in June after a trustee candidate compared farming to the holocaust. And in 2013 the RSPCA was forced to drop four failed hunt prosecutions.

Most famously of all was the criticism surrounding their prosecution of the Heythrop Hunt. The RSPCA spent £327,000 pursuing prosecution of the hunt in David Cameron’s constituency. Despite winning the case, the RSPCA was criticised heavily for what many saw as a politically motivated prosecution and asked to justify its actions in a meeting with the Charity Commission last year.

The news comes ahead of the Wooler review into the RSPCA’s prosecutions policy, which is due to be published soon.