RSPCA1The RSPCA is shedding jobs and will be restructuring in a bid to save £4.5m a year, the charity’s chairman Mike Tomlinson has revealed in a statement to Third Sector magazine click here to read

Mr Tomlinson is quoted as saying “things cannot carry on as they are” after the charity suffered a “£6.1m net cash outflow” last year. It will now prioritise its front-line animal welfare work, he told the magazine. 

Tim Bonner, director of campaigns for the Countryside Alliance said: “This news raises very serious questions over how the RSPCA spends the money donated by its supporters. As a charity its trustees have a legal obligation to ensure charitable funds are not wasted – I’m sure many donors will have concerns over the huge sums of money spent prosecuting hunts.

“It also casts doubt on the RSPCA’s move to transform itself into the second largest prosecutor after the CPS. We have long questioned its commitment to prosecute cases itself rather than turning them over to the police and CPS. Perhaps by leaving prosecutions to publically accountable bodies they could save money, restore public confidence and concentrate on animal welfare.”

The RSPCA was widely criticised in 2012 after it spent more than £300,000 prosecuting the Heythrop hunt.

And in 2013 the charity was estimated to have spent at least £500,000 of charitable funds on prosecutions against hunts – 78% of which failed.

Combative chief executive Gavin Grant resigned in February 2014 followed by his deputy, John Grounds, in April.