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Panorama showed ‘anti agenda’

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Last week’s BBC Panorama documentary about the RSPCA has been branded ‘scrappy’ and ‘very unbalanced’ by former RSPCA chief veterinary officer and trustee, Chris Laurence.

‘Trouble at the RSPCA’ explored the management of the organisation and suggested the charity was heavy handed in its prosecution approach.

The programme included an interview with a woman who was convicted for seven animal welfare offences for harbouring more than 60 cats in her house. This prosecution was painted as inappropriate.

Laurence agreed to be interviewed to provide a modifying voice. He was interviewed by the BBC crew for four hours, but only appeared on the programme for less than 60 seconds. He also said the programme failed to give the RSPCA credit for amending its prosecution process.

Concerns about the society’s function as prosecutor led to the RSPCA commissioning an independent review of its prosecution activity in 2013. This review was conducted by Stephen Wooler, former chief inspector of HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, and findings from the report were published in …

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