SIR - The RSPCA representative Judith Haw insists the society's campaigns are not political and then goes on to list activities which are blatantly so.

The public thinks of the RSPCA as looking after animal welfare in terms of lost dogs and distressed animals. That, indeed, is a part of its work to be applauded and I would guess that most of those who donate to the RSPCA as a charity think that's what they're supporting.

But the RSPCA is deeply involved in politics, to the extent that its status as a charity is now called into question. Charitable organisations must become involved in "campaigning" to draw attention to their activities, but they may not use that campaigning for wider political purposes.

A friend who was a lifelong member of a Worcestershire branch told me she had resigned in frustration and anger that such a high proportion of branch resources was directed by RSPCA HQ to political work instead of to looking after needy animals. The society is deceiving the public. And there's fear among staff that they may be made to suffer for expressing their feelings. It is my understanding that the volunteers at an RSPCA charity shop, when told to hand out anti-hunting leaflets, kept them under the counter instead of on display. How revealing, almost sinister, that those worthy people felt unable to disagree openly with the society's policies.

The manager of a prominent animal shelter also told me of her disquiet over an RSPCA policy to destroy injured wild creatures instead of bringing them in to be helped. The RSPCA should return to its roots in animal welfare and abandon the agenda set up by the political activists who now run it.