An independent review of the RSPCA’s prosecution work has concluded that its successful 2012 test case prosecution of David Cameron’s Heythrop hunt for illegally hunting foxes, which resulted in fines of £6,800 for the hunt and two of its members, was appropriately brought and not politically motivated.

Since the legal censure pro-hunting MPs and other blood-sport enthusiasts have claimed political motives for it, and put forward their view that one way the government could avoid such embarrassments in future would be to take away the power of the RSPCA to prosecute hunts, a move which could enable the Heythrop and all other hunts to flout the law.

The review was commissioned by the RSPCA in December 2013, a year after the Heythrop prosecution, to a former chief inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, Stephen Wooler, who has made 33 recommendations on the charity’s investigation and prosecution activities.

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