The chief executive of the RSPCA has left the charity after just 14 months in the role.

Jeremy Cooper
Mr Cooper has left the charity to “pursue other business opportunities”. IMAGE: Press Association.

Jeremy Cooper took the reins of the animal welfare charity in April 2016 and said his arrival would herald a new direction for the charity.

“Make friends and influence people”

At the time Mr Cooper said he wanted to see a departure from the fiery rhetoric used in the past and said the society would try to “make friends and influence people”.

However, on Monday evening, the RSPCA confirmed Mr Cooper had left to “pursue other business opportunities” and chief operating officer Michael Ward would serve as interim chief executive.

Pursue other opportunities

In a statement, the charity said: “After four years with the society and more than a year as chief executive of the RSPCA, it is with regret we announce that Jeremy has decided to move on to pursue other business opportunities.

“Jeremy has been an asset to the team and has contributed to the continued success of the RSPCA.”

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph at the time of his appointment, Mr Cooper said he wanted to see the number of prosecutions brought by the charity reduced and virtually eliminated for fox hunting. The RSPCA infamously prosecuted the Heythrop, former prime minister David Cameron’s local hunt, with success coming after huge sums were spent.

The charity also attracted negative publicity for its failed prosecution of a family for alleged cruelty to its cat.

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