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RSPCA now 'sinister', says Countryside Alliance head

General Sir Barney White-Spunner has urged members of the Countryside Alliance to stop donating to animal charity the RSPCA, according to The Telegraph.

Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner pictured in 2001. Credit: PA

In an interview for the newspaper, Sir Barney said: "It's a sad story.

“It’s got plenty of money but its membership has plummeted. A once great British institution has been turned from an animal welfare organisation to one concerned with animal rights.

“They have no statutory responsibility, yet when their inspectors turn up in uniform it’s as a private organisation. There is something rather sinister and nasty about it. Why should they, just because they are rich, tell us how to behave towards animals?”

RSPCA's anti-badger cull advert is banned

An RSPCA advert suggesting that badgers in cull areas would be "exterminated" has been banned following 119 complaints.

The ad featured an image of a syringe and bullet at the top of the page with a headline reading "Vaccinate or exterminate?" before text continued: "The UK government wants to shoot England's badgers. We want to vaccinate them - and save their lives."

The Advertising Standards Agency has ruled the advert must not appear again in its current form. Credit: Press Association

Conservative MP Simon Hart, the Farmers' Union of Wales, Welsh Conservative AM Antoinette Sandbach and 116 members of the public complained about the ad, with most saying the term "exterminate" was inaccurate and alarmist.

The RSPCA said the word "exterminate" was used carefully and deliberately, saying it had "a literal meaning of total eradication and a common use meaning of killing on a massive scale".

The Advertising Standards Agency said: "...Consumers were likely to interpret the claim, along with the text 'The UK government wants to shoot England's badgers', to mean that all badgers would be eradicated in the cull areas. On that basis, we concluded the claim was likely to mislead."

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

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Mallard shot by crossbow ducks RSPCA capture

The RSPCA are desperately trying to capture a duck which has been shot through the neck with a crossbow bolt.

The duck continues to fly around with the large blue arrow shot through its neck.
The duck continues to fly around with the large blue arrow shot through its neck. Credit: SWNS.com

The mallard is believed to have been shot in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, three weeks ago, but is still swimming around unbothered, and as yet has evaded capture by concerned animal welfare inspectors.

RSPCA spokeswoman Katya Mira has appealed for anyone who knows who shot the duck to come forward.

The crossbow bolt seems to have passed through the flesh and missed the oesophagus, vets say.
The crossbow bolt seems to have passed through the flesh and missed the oesophagus, vets say. Credit: SWNS.com

"Our inspectors have been out several times, as have staff from another wildlife centre nearby, and no one has yet been able to catch the duck.

"The duck does appear to be fully functioning and OK for now. But this does mean he can fly, so tends to take off whenever he sees a net or anyone gets near.

"In the meantime, if anyone has any information about the duck and how she came to be attacked with a dart in this way, they should call our investigations line."

RSPCA will monitor badger cull to ensure it is humane

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.

RSPCA will monitor badger cull to ensure it is humane.
RSPCA will monitor badger cull to ensure it is humane. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

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.

Archbishop's rejection comes as big blow to RSPCA

The RSPCA has been accused of becoming too politicised in its pursuit of animal welfare causes. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive

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.

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Welby snubs RSPCA for causes which need him more

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.

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.

– Spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace

She added: "Nevertheless, the Archbishop has enormous admiration for the RSPCA and hopes to see its work thrive long into the future."

Archbishop of Canterbury snubs traditional RSPCA role

The Most Rev Justin Welby's predecessor, Dr Rowan Williams, accepted the vice-patron role. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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 'at crisis point' in the south-east

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.

RSPCA centres in the south east say they are overrun with unwanted cats
RSPCA centres in the south east say they are overrun with unwanted cats Credit: ITV News

Watch a full report on the struggling animal rescue centres on ITV News Meridian.

RSPCA: People are 'deliberately dumping their animals'

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.

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.

– Ben Strangwood, RSPCA deputy chief inspector
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