X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Blogs Coffee House

Gavin Grant steps down. What now for the RSPCA?

25 February 2014

3:21 PM

25 February 2014

3:21 PM

Gavin Grant, the CEO of the RSPCA, is stepping down from his role after just over two years in the job because there are ‘concerns about his health’, the charity announced today. The announcement will be met with a mixture of delight and dismay; delight from those who believed that his influence was shifting the RSPCA’s purpose from animal welfare to animal rights and, of course, dismay from his loyal supporters in the animal rights brigade.

It’s hard to reject the view that he was a driving force behind the many incendiary headlines written about the RSPCA since he started his job. While Grant was in charge, the increase in the number of private prosecutions – with defence costs in failed prosecutions being covered by the taxpayer – was just one complaint. Just this month a reviewer hired by the RSPCA questioned what the charity could do to regain its positive public image, with one option being to strip it of its right to prosecute.

A leaked memo suggested that many staff were ‘disillusioned’, with Melissa Kite writing in The Spectator last year that ‘there is a culture of fear at their headquarters’. Grant’s statement that farmers who supported the badger cull should be ‘named and shamed’ was another sore point, especially amongst the rural community. And even the BBC weren’t entirely sure about the charity’s motives, with a ‘Face the Facts’ Radio 4 programme last August asking whether the RSPCA was ‘a law unto itself’.

Of course, a change of leadership is by no means a guarantee that the RSPCA will change its ways. But it will certainly be interesting to see who their trustees choose to fill the role next.

Here’s Gavin Grant in his own words, first published  in The Spectator in February 2013:

Gavin Grant in his own words

[Alt-Text]


The Heythrop

— ‘These people are wildlife criminals… The penalties for these offences are too light. I want to see people who organise themselves to go out and abuse animals for pleasure or for profit go to jail… two years? Five years?’

— ‘No different to badger baiters – apart from their accents.’

Hunting in general

— ‘Rightly, those that abuse animals for pleasure and/or for profit will be seen for the common criminals they are.’

The Grand National

— ‘As the winning owner whooped, a cold fury welled- up in me. The National has to change or die. The nation knows and demands it.’

—  ‘Despite safety improvement the Grand National is still too risky for the horses. It’s the unacceptable face of racing.’

The RSPCA — and himself

— ‘We take a zero-tolerance approach to animal cruelty:  mice, hedgehogs, dogs, cats, badgers, cows, sheep, foxes, snakes — we are here to protect all animals.’

— ‘People may seek to intimidate me, and some have… I respect other people’s opinions, but the RSPCA is never going to be intimidated.’

— ‘Anybody who is going out there quite deliberately either for fun or for profit, to break the law and to abuse animals, is clearly an enemy of the animals, and an enemy of the RSPCA, but above all, they’re an enemy of the civilised people of this country.’

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close