MP questions why RSPCA "allowed causeway horses to suffer"
GLOUCESTER'S MP has questioned the RSPCA's handling of the horses caught in flooding.
Volunteers feared the herd would die if they didn't help – four foals were found dead there and the RSPCA said three had died of salmonella.
The 60 horses were moved from the meadow between St Oswald's and the east channel of the River Severn, but the RSPCA was criticised by some volunteers for not acting strongly enough.
Now Conservative MP Richard Graham has compared the RSPCA's handling of the situation, to its prosecution of a hunt which helped him during his election campaign.
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"This is an interesting and sad story which raises a number of questions," said Mr Graham. "It appears that the RSPCA inspectors were taking a slightly odd position in monitoring the situation at a place where four horses died.
"Most people would have asked if the RSPCA could not have done something.
"Spending more than £300,000 on a fox hunting prosecution is something the new chief executive of the RSPCA is entitled to do.
"People like my mother-in-law living off the basic state pension, and giving a few pounds a week to the RSCPA would be horrified at the amount that is going on a court case for allowing a fox hunt."
He suggested the charity splits to allow it to pursue the hunting issue and other animal welfare concerns.
Last week, environment minister Owen Paterson indicated it would be unlikely moves to repeal the fox hunting ban would come in 2013.
Mr Graham, who was helped by Heythrop hunt to leaflet during the 2010 election campaign, would not be drawn on how he would vote.
An RSPCA spokesman defended its position and said the horses' owners should have looked in to the land's propensity to flood.
"We do not distinguish between a pet, for example, or a fox, but strive to prevent animal suffering as is our remit and as our supporters and animal lovers would expect," he said