Charity leading a “ harassment campaign ” against sites that fundraise for hunting
An anti-hunting charity has been accused of intimidation as part of a “harassment campaign” against auction sites used to raise funds for hunting and hunting.
The League Against Cruel Sports was reported to the Charity Commission for “threateningly demanding” that a fundraising platform cut ties with legally registered hunts. The regulator was assessing the complaint, a spokesperson said.
After a previous campaign against the sponsors of the hunt, the commission “reminded” the League of its responsibilities as a charitable organization.
But in the latest targeted action, the League and its supporters sent over 2,600 emails to Jumblebee, an online fundraising site, warning it to no longer allow hunts to use the platform.
Activists also ran a social media campaign and within four hours Jumblebee deleted her Twitter account, which the League said it could “only speculate” was due to “volume of tweets.”
The League has also targeted the website’s customers and a number of small businesses, saying any link will damage their reputation.
After the auction site deleted its Twitter account, the League reminded members that they can still email Jumblebee.
He accused the site of “facilitating … brutal killing of wildlife” after Jumblebee hosted the International Hounds Show, which raised more than £ 81,000, and separate auctions for 18 hunts, which raised more than 120 £ 000.
The League boasts on its website that five other auction sites have already capitulated to its demands.
Charity has used similar tactics before
Tim Bonner, head of the Countryside Alliance, wrote to Helen Stephenson, the regulator’s chief executive, asking her to take immediate action.
He warned that the League had “openly carried out a campaign of harassment targeting companies linked to registered hunts which function perfectly legitimately and correctly”.
Jumblebee, which raises money for good causes including charities and schools, was a particular target and League supporters had “demanded under threat to stop providing a service to hunting companies,” says the letter.
This is not the first time the League has used this tactic, having contacted corporate sponsors of the West Vale Hunt in Somerset in 2011.
At the time, the Charity Commission said it had “raised the issue with the charity and reminded them that any activity carried out on their behalf must be in line with the charity’s goals.” We have also referred charitable trustees to the commission’s guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of trustees ”.
Mr Bonner told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘Given that the League has been reprimanded in the past for failing to adhere to the strict guidelines in place that govern how a charity should conduct itself, it would be fair if their latest bullying antics are encountered. rapid action by the Charity Commission.
“Threatening companies the way they have done is clearly unworthy of a charity, and the commission’s failure to act vigorously undermines what it means to be a charity in Britain today.” .
League chief executive Andy Knott fought back against the complaints, saying it was “our duty to urge them to remove these dubious organizations from a platform that would otherwise help worthy causes raise concerns. vital funds ”.
He added: “It is very much in line with our charitable goals to alert the public to companies that profit from animal suffering in the name of ‘sport’ and perhaps the best example of this is our campaign to prevent animal suffering. Airlines to advertise flights to the UK. tourists to attend bullfights in Spain. ”
A spokesperson for the Charity Commission said: “We can confirm that concerns have been raised with us about the League Against Cruel Sports. We assess these concerns to determine what role, if any, we have as a regulator. We cannot comment further at this time. ”
Jumblebee did not respond to a request for comment.