The RSPCA has lodged a formal complaint against the Daily Telegraph for what it calls “a series of potentially defamatory articles”, in particular to claims it broke charity rules over the successful prosecution of a hunt.

The RSPCA has lodged a formal complaint with the Press Complaints Commission in response to what it claims is “a series of potentially defamatory articles” in The Daily Telegraph.

TelegraphThe charity claims the articles are “factually incorrect and reflect a biased, unbalanced reporting style”, while showing “clear support for the political agenda of the Countryside Alliance in seeking the return of blood sports”.

The RSPCA’s complaint refers in particular to articles claiming:

  • the RSPCA broke charity rules over the successful prosecution of a hunt; and
  • the RSPCA had been warned on hunt prosecutions by the Charity Commission.

Gavin GrantIn response, the Charity Commission has confirmed that no rules have been broken, no warning was issued and at no stage have they investigated the RSPCA.

With this in mind, the RSPCA is calling for an apology from The Daily Telegraph, to be published in a prominent position.
The charity’s chief executive Gavin Grant said: “These stories are a sustained attack on the RSPCA. The facts are that we have always and will continue to only act in the interests of the animals. We simply want the truth to be heard.”

Mr Grant said The Daily Telegraph was entitled to its editorial position in support of blood sports – despite and overwhelming public rejection of that view – but it was “not entitled to produce factually inaccurate articles that smear the good name of the RSPCA.”

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