Gambling & Crookshank warn British charities about investing, breach of trust

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1999:

British animal-issue organizations
ran into trouble one after another
near the pre-Christmas 1998 peak of
fundraising activity.
Embarrassed first was the Zoo-
logical Society of London, after London
Zoo director general Richard Burge, 40,
in early December announced he would
leave to head the pro-hunting Countryside
Alliance, starting February 1.
Royal SPCA press chief
Charlotte Morrissey urged Burge to “do
his homework” before betraying animal
welfare. “For us, cruelty is at the very
heart of this debate,” Morrissey said.

Distancing itself, the Zoological
Society of London stated, “We would like
to make very clear that Mr. Burge’s views
are his own, and his association with the
Countryside Alliance does not alter the
mission of philosophy of the society.”
The Charity Commission,
which in recent years has forced the
RSPCA to back away from anti-vivisectionism
under threat it might lose its charter,
then released a report spotlighting the
RSPCA and four other older animal-related
charities for allegedly amassing excessive
assets, while continuing to raise funds from
the public.
Among the other charities named
were Guide Dogs for the Blind, t h e
Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare,
t h e Home of Rest for Horses, and the
Battersea Dogs Home. Some were alleged
to be spending less than half of their annual
income, while building extensive investment
“Investing money is not a charitable
activity, and if necessary, these charities
should be penalized to ensure this
money is used properly,” commented
Trevor Gambling of the United Kingdom
Bureau for Fundraising Organizations.
Added Stuart Crookshank o f
the Charity Commission, “If it is done
without justification, holding income in
reserve may amount to a breach of trust.”
No commentator seemed to note
the irony of men named “gambling” and
“crookshank,” Dickensian slang for a pickpocket,
being in positions of oversight.
Two more animal-issue charities
were hurt––but not embarrassed by having
taken a stand for the creatures whose interests
they represent––when Scotland environment
minister Lord Sewel ousted the
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
from the National Goose Forum. Their
alleged offense was disclosing what Sewel
claimed was a document obtained through a
confidential understanding.
The document was evidence the
RSPB and WWT used in suing the Scots
government, seeking to stop a scheduled
massacre of 100 otherwise protected
Greenland whitefront geese by two farmers
on the Isle of Islay. Other participants in
the Goose Forum authorized the killing
after the farmers complained that the geese
were harming their livelihoods

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