The RSPCA has refused to allow Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon (RCVS) president, Prof Richard Halliwell, a place on its council after he refused to declare his opposition to hunting.
The RSPCA council has 25 members elected by RSPCA members, plus two honorary advisors of which one has traditionally been an RCVS representative.
Until this year, council members were asked to fill in a form including a question asking for their views on the societys policies, and changes they would like to see.
However, a spokesman for the RSPCA confirmed that for 2004, all prospective council members have been asked for their views on hunting.
“Prof Halliwell confirmed his personal views on the subject as being neutral,” explains Ian Holloway, RCVS external affairs officer. “As a regulatory rather than a representative body, the RCVS has not taken a view on foxhunting.”
Nevertheless, RSPCA council members decided to reject the nomination on the grounds of his neutral views.
The RSPCA has released the following statement: “The council feels that, at the present time, the post should be taken up by an individual who opposes hunting. Therefore the council took its decision solely in regards to Mr Halliwells stance on hunting.”