Norfolk

Vet claims RSPCA called him 'arch-enemy'

A veterinary expert from Norfolk is claiming he was the victim of an RSPCA smear campaign after he gave evidence against the charity in court.

Colin Vogel, from Fakenham, made the allegation in a BBC Radio 4 Face the Facts programme after seeing emails and documents about him from the charity.

Mr Vogel has appeared in the defence in cases brought by the RSPCA.

Gavin Grant, RSPCA chief executive, said: "There is no place for smears or innuendos or inappropriate conduct."

Mr Vogel alleged the charity had sent "scabrous reports to courts about me" and had reported him to the Society of Expert Witnesses, the Law Society and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons "because their view is that vets should not appear as defence experts".

Mr Vogel discovered the charity called him its "arch-enemy" after he requested access to emails and documents from the RSPCA, using the Data Protection Act.

'Simply not appropriate'

The emails also revealed the RSPCA had tried to find a way of removing its name from his horse care book.

One email said: "I know it was hoped that we would be able to criticise the content to an extent that we could refuse to be associated with it.

"To my enormous regret I do not think we can easily proceed on those lines.

"There are a number of minor points which could be raised but I could find nothing that was wrong or bad from the welfare point of view sufficient to give us a good case. Sorry."

Mr Grant said: "It's not an email I'm familiar with but if it is correct then that is simply not appropriate."

He added it was "a nonsense" the charity harassed expert witnesses who regularly appear for the defence in animal cruelty cases.

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