Voluntary Sector: RSPCA remains in top spot

Anti-cruelty campaign helps RSPCA retain pole position for second month in a row.

The RSPCA has made it two months in a row at the top of NGO Watch, after claiming animal cruelty rose 24 per cent last year.

The animal charity blamed 'our throwaway society' for making cats, dogs and horses helpless victims.

As well as gaining national coverage, the media used the figures for local stories, such as BBC News' article claiming Lancashire has the third highest number of animal cruelty convictions in the UK.

In second place, Age Concern improved dramatically on last month's ninth place. This was largely due to its tussle with Centrica, which announced a 35 per cent rise in customers' fuel bills as well as record profits of almost £1bn. The charity criticised the firm, jumping on comments by Centrica's MD in The Telegraph that people should keep warm by wearing two jumpers.

The Red Cross moved into third place after its heavy involvement in the rescue of numerous hostages in Colombia by the FARC rebel group. But the NGO criticised the Colombian government for posing as Red Cross workers to secure the release of high-profile hostage Ingrid Betancourt.

The one-year anniversary of the smoking ban in England provided a news hook for a series of stories involving Cancer Research UK, which pushed the charity back into the table.

The start of the Olympic Games in Beijing gave Amnesty a chance to raise the issue of internet access in China. The Guardian wrote that freedom of speech and information was called into question after IOC officials censored certain 'sensitive' sites.

Meanwhile, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation provoked widespread discussion with a report that argued tackling deprivation would reduce hostility to immigrants more effectively than trying to create a sense of Britishness.


NGO Number of

Age Concern 144
Red Cross 125
Cancer Research 124
RSPB 115
Friends of the Earth 109
Amnesty International 102
Joseph Rowntree 78
Macmillan 69
Oxfam 68

July 2008

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