RSPCA makes formal complaint to PCC over Daily Telegraph articles

The RSPCA has started the formal process of making a complaint against the Daily Telegraph newspaper to the Press Complaints Commission after it failed to print an apology or offer a right to reply after printing a series of potentially defamatory articles.

The RSPCA says the stories are factually incorrect and reflect biased and unbalanced reporting style.

The articles show clear support for the political agenda of the Countryside Alliance in seeking the return of blood sports. In their factual inaccuracies and bias they are not consistent with high standards of journalism

The RSPCA is referring in particular to the stories claiming the RSPCA broke charity rules over the successful prosecution of a hunt and saying that the RSPCA was warned on hunt prosecutions by the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission has been clear that no rules have been broken, no warning has been issued and at no stage have they been investigated by the RSPCA.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “These stories are a sustained attack on the RSPCA. The facts are that we have always and will continue to only act in the interests of the animals. We simply want the truth to be heard. The Daily Telegraph is entitled to its editorial position in support of blood sports despite the overwhelming public rejection of that view.

They are not entitled to produce factually inaccurate articles that smear the good name of the RSPCA

Update: The PCC concluded there was no breach of the Editors’ Code of Practice in this case.