29.08.13

The Charity Commission has today concluded that we are acting within our charitable purposes in conducting such campaigns as opposing the badger cull and the live export of animals for slaughter.

In its conclusion the Commission said:

“We are satisfied that it is reasonable for the RSPCA to decide that campaigning against the badger cull and live animal exports is justified in furtherance of their objectives”.

We have reconfirmed our publicly stated and long standing view, which is shared by the Commission, that it would be wholly inappropriate for any charity to undertake or advocate actions that might lead to any such harm of individuals.

In recent months, we have made numerous public statements expressing our abhorrence at all such forms of personal intimidation. As we made clear to the Commission and are pleased again to reiterate publicly, we will not be naming and shaming any farmers or farms involved in the badger cull.

Campaigning and political activity are legitimate activities for charities

The Commission’s announcement today also confirms that campaigning and political activity are legitimate and valuable activities for charities to undertake in furtherance of their charitable purposes.

In rejecting on all counts the NFU’s complaint, the Charity Commission has satisfied itself that we are running our campaigns properly in accordance with charity law and with the Commission’s own published guidance.

Mike Tomlinson, Chair of the Council of Trustees said:

“In a week which has seen the start of the badger cull pilot, we are unsurprised that the Charity Commission has found no grounds whatsoever for the NFU’s complaint.

 

“The RSPCA only ever conducted campaigns to further the charity’s animal welfare purposes in a lawful manner.  In relation to our badger cull and live animal export campaigns, the RSPCA will continue to be a strong, loud and ethical voice for the animals with our position rooted in science and evidence unlike the government’s badger cull programme.”

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