The RSPCA has once again come under attack following the resignation of its chief executive after just a year in the post.
Jeremy Cooper took on the role in April 2016 after a two-year gap following Gavin Grant’s departure on ill-health grounds in 2014.
The Countryside Alliance rounded on the charity which it said had moved away from its remit of protecting the welfare of animals and instead favouring political campaigning.
Last year a committee of MPs urged the charity to reign in its role in prosecuting animal welfare cases.
In 2012 the RSPCA was also criticised for its decision to ‘name and shame’ farmers participating in the badger cull.
The Countryside Alliance’s chief executive Tim Bonner said: “The RSPCA should be entirely a force for good protecting the welfare of individual animals and promoting good practice and husbandry with the support of sensible and proportionate regulation where necessary.
“Instead it has increasingly become a battlefield on which the advocates of ‘animal rights’, a philosophy in which the interests of humans and the welfare of individual animals are subservient to a campaign to give political rights to non-human species, wrestle for control with those who seek to address the practical issues of animal welfare amongst pets and other domestic animals.
“This has been allowed to happen by a governance structure which is utterly dysfunctional.”
An RSPCA spokesman said it was ’committed to the very highest levels of governance’ and said a review of its existing governance arrangements found it was financially stable and was delivering on its ’important mission’.
He said the charity ’has set in place measures to manage compliance and risk we are not complacent’.
"The review has highlighted a number of improvement opportunities and we are already taking steps to implement the recommendations," the spokesman added.
"We believe that this will put the RSPCA in a stronger position to deliver its strategy and vision of working to prevent cruelty and alleviate suffering of animals."