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the RSPCA should retain the power to prosecute animal cruelty

This petition had 5,121 supporters

Support the RSPCA in retaining its power to prosecute animal cruelty including illegal hunting.

So, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has questioned whether it is appropriate for the charity to bring forward private prosecutions when it is already involved in campaigning and fundraising on the basis that they have a “conflict of interests”.

The committee headed by Andrea Leadsom (Secretary of state for environment, Food and rural affairs) might have an ulterior motive that has an IRONIC and direct ‘conflict of interest’ to her committee’s interest in this report.

The RSPCA achieved 92.4% prosecution success rate in 2015 and there have been over 280 successful prosecutions under the Hunting Act, a statistic that must not lay well with the secretary of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom, an active supporter fox hunting.

There lays the conflict of interest: how can an active supporter of fox hunting head a report suggesting the RSPCA be stripped of the power to prosecute when the RSPCA have successfully brought to justice 280 illegal hunts.  Perhaps Andrea Leadsom is hoping the responsibility of prosecuting hunts will be taken from the RSPCA and sit firmly at the bottom of the pile of Crown Prosecution Service who will naturally see these cases less important than the huge amount of work they already do.

The chief executive of the RSPCA, Jeremy Cooper, said: "We are extremely proud of our near 200 years of experience investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty and our 92% success rate - which is currently a higher percentage than the CPS.

"Our research shows that 89% of the general public back our prosecutions work and they will be confused why a small number of MPs would suggest stopping the RSPCA carrying out a role which we are very good at and which is paid for by public donations rather than out of taxes.

David Bowles, head of public affairs at the RSPCA, told Sky News: "If you hand it over to the CPS - of course they will have other more important high-profile things; murders, rapes, those sorts of things.

"You'd expect them to take priority over animal cases - my fear is that animals will go to the bottom of the list."  

If this petition gets enough support it will bring this blatant conflict of interest to the attention of the house of commons

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