David Bowles from the RSPCA has said that the badger cull is misguided and "won't actually do what we all what we all want to see happen, which is an end to bovine TB in cattle."
The RSPCA has condemned the badger cull and said it will be monitoring the humaneness of the cull by examining any wounded badgers brought in, and called on the Government to be more transparent about how it was assessing whether the culling was humane.
The wildlife charity said it was expecting high numbers of calls about badgers during the six-week culling period. It has set up a dedicated emergency line for calls about badgers and readied staff to cope with an increase in badger admissions.
The Archbishop of Canterbury's decision to turn down the role of vice-patron of the RSPCA will set back an organisation that has endured some negative recent press.
The animal charity has been accused of being heavy-handed in its approach to pet-owners and of allegedly pursuing criminal convictions to increase its revenue.
It was also accused of wasting public donations by spending £326,000 in pursuing legal action against fox hunters in the Cotswolds last year.
A spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace has explained the Archbishop of Canterbury's decision not to follow his predecessors in accepting the role of vice-patron of the RSPCA.
– Spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace
Since taking office in March this year, the Archbishop has received many kind invitations to patron a large variety of charities and good causes. Each invitation has been an honour, and in an ideal world he would like to accept them all.
However, in light of the sheer volume of the requests the Archbishop receives, and the many pressures on his time and resources, he has reluctantly decided to restrict his patronage to a manageable number of organisations, based on where he feels his support could be most beneficial.
She added: "Nevertheless, the Archbishop has enormous admiration for the RSPCA and hopes to see its work thrive long into the future."
The Archbishop of Canterbury has broken with tradition and turned down a post as vice-patron of the RSPCA, which has faced criticism for its recent bullish pursuit of animal welfare issues.
The animal charity, which was founded by an Anglican priest in 1824, has been accused of wasting donations on legal action.
Lambeth Palace said the Most Rev Justin Welby has "enormous admiration" for the RSPCA but had declined the invitation as he has "reluctantly decided to restrict his patronage".
Animal rescue centres in the south-east of England say they are overrun with unwanted cats and kittens.
The RSPCA says that centres in Kent are at crisis point and struggling to find space for the abandoned pets.
The RSPCA is urging the public to alert them if they notice boxes, bins or bags that could contain abandoned animals, it comes as the charity reports an increase in the number of abandoned animals.
Its bad enough when we find a box of kittens wrapped in blankets on our doorstep with a note.
– Ben Strangwood, RSPCA deputy chief inspector
But now people are deliberately dumping their animals in out of the way places - like bins, skips or on waste ground - and leaving them to die.
The RSPCA has reported an increase in the number of animals abandoned across England and Wales.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Ben Strangwood said "thousands of people" do not care about their pets and "treat them like rubbish".
The animal welfare charity released a list of the most unusual places that animals have been abandoned since May 2013:
- A dog dumped in a duffel bag
- Chinchillas found in a cage in a cemetery
- Very young rabbits discovered in a plant pot inside a shopping bag
- A mother cat and kittens dumped in a wheelie bin
- A terrapin left in a bucket in a childrens playground
- A man who walked into a Tesco and asked a woman to hold his cat while he called the RSPCA - and then never returned
An "alarming" increase in animals being abandoned across England and Wales has been reported by the RSPCA.
In the last year the charity was called out to rescue more than 37,000 abandoned animals, receiving a call for help every 30 seconds.
The charity said that more animals are abandoned over the summer, with people choosing to get rid of their pets rather than pay for them to be looked after while they are on holiday.
In other cases, money which would usually be spent on vet bills, will be spent on summer holidays and other summer treats, the RSPCA added.
James Yeates. the RSPCA's Chief Veterinary Officer. said the economic crisis has caused "additional problems for animals". He said:
There remains a body, even in this country where people really love animals, who think it's acceptable to beat, to maim, to fight, to neglect, to just not give the love and attention, or enjoy being cruel to these animals.