RSPCA prosecution: Shropshire and Mid Wales MPs backing calls to cut power

Two of the region's MPs have backed calls to strip the RSPCA of its powers to routinely prosecute animal welfare cases.

RSPCA prosecution: Shropshire and Mid Wales MPs backing calls to cut power

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said there was a "conflict of interest" in the charity's role in bringing forward private prosecutions as well as investigating cases, campaigning and fundraising.

The charity defended its work and said the recommendation by the "small group of MPs" was not supported by the Government, animal welfare groups or vets.

Today, two local MPs lent their support to the committee's recommendations.

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, who was the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2012 until 2014, said the charity should concentrate on its core function rather than bringing prosecutions.

He said: "The RSPCA has lost its way over the last few years. I believe it is up to the charity's supporters and donors to insist that the RSPCA concentrates on its core function – that of animal welfare – rather than spending its money on high profile, legal cases."

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said: "I used to be an enthusiastic member of the RSPCA but over recent years they seem to have become a left-wing campaigning organisation which has moved away from its primary purpose, which is to look after animals."

RSPCA chief executive Jeremy Cooper rejected the MPs' criticism, saying the charity had a higher success rate than the CPS for prosecutions.

A recent Shropshire RSPCA prosecution saw Jennifer Jeane Lampe spared a prison term after cutting the heads off her two pet snakes with a pair of scissors.

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