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Developments on day four of the badger cull in Somerset
Updated 8:39am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
This live event has finished
- Controversial cull underway in parts of West Somerset
- More than 2,000 badgers to be shot in the district
- First stage of pilot expected to last six weeks
FARMERS involved in the badger cull will not be ‘named and shamed’ by the RSPCA, it has been confirmed today.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) raised a number of concerns with the Charity Commission about the charity’s campaigns on the badger cull and its activities relating to live animal exports, but an investigation has found they were legitimate.
The NFU said its concerns included the RSPCA’s chief executive, Gavin Grant, calling for farmers involved in the badger cull to be named and for a boycott of milk from farmers in badger cull areas.
Today, NFU president Peter Kendall said he was pleased with the outcome of the Charity Commission’s investigation: "We raised these concerns with the Charity Commission as to whether the RSPCA may have stepped outside the boundaries of the law that applies to charities, and the Charity Commission’s guidance, with some of its recent activities.
“We also had very real fears that any farmers named, as called for by the Chief Executive of the RSPCA, would be threatened, intimidated and harassed by others.
“Farmers have always understood the RSPCA to be a charity that works to safeguard the welfare of animals and we have no issues with its charitable work.
"As a charity, the RSPCA has a privileged status, but it must respect the law that applies to charities and it must abide by Charity Commission guidance.
"I am extremely grateful to the Charity Commission, who took the NFU’s complaint seriously and carried out a thorough investigation of the issues we raised."
He added: “The RSPCA has now clarified its position on the naming of farmers involved with the badger cull and that it condemns personal intimidation.
"The RSPCA has also now confirmed that it will not call for a boycott of milk. This gives us some comfort on behalf of our farmer members.”
But the Charity Commission concluded from its investigation that the RSPCA was acting within its charitable purposes in conducting a campaign against the badger cull.
The RSPCA maintains that it has released numerous public statements condemning personal intimidation.
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."
#stopthecull Save the Badger Badger Badger by Brian May, rising rapidly in the charts, lets get It to no 1.— @dandypeople 29 August 2013
@DefraGovUK doing an excellent job of reiterating the need, and dispelling myths of the badger pilot cull as part of wider strategy #tbfree— @edbarkercla 29 August 2013
@BadgerMeThis Sir Richard Attenborough this factual video on why the cull will not work http://t.co/bUvlWJuXBs … … #stopthecull— @AprilAubade 29 August 2013
PROTESTERS at 'Camp Badger' earlier this week.
PHOTO: Steve Guscott
CAMPAIGNERS have the Crown Estate in their sights after being evicted from a makeshift campsite on private land near Watchet.
The anti-cull protesters were ordered to leave what they had dubbed 'Camp Badger' yesterday afternoon by the landowner.
They must now take their cars, tens and campervans to an alternative location, with part of the 1,430-hectare Crown Estate land near Dunster being tipped as the most likely.
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