Modern slavery and human trafficking

Since 1824 we have worked to prevent cruelty, promote kindness towards and alleviate suffering of animals, by all lawful means available.

One of our founders, William Wilberforce, went on to champion the abolition of slavery throughout the British empire. our work is still underpinned by his vision of a caring world where all animals, and people, are respected and treated with compassion.

Learn more about our history

Who we are

We're a corporate body by virtue of the RSPCA Act 1932. We're a registered charity (no. 219099) covering England and Wales, with a main base just outside Horsham in West Sussex. We have many other premises including regional support offices and 17 associated animal establishments (animal centres, hospitals and clinics) that cater for both domestic and wild animals. Our workforce is 1,670 staff around 7,000 volunteers.

Our non charitable trading arm, RSPCA Trading Limited, is a wholly owned subsidiary company limited by shares, Company No. 01072608. Its principal activities are trading in pet related products, receiving royalties in respect of the RSPCA logo (under licence from the charity) and advertising/sponsorship services. All profits are gifted to the charity.

Our subsidiary charitable company, Freedom Food (RSPCA Assured) Company No. 02723670 operates a food labelling scheme relating to animal welfare and traceability throughout the meat, fish and egg supply chains including farms, processors, packers, hauliers and abattoirs.

Read more about who we are

Delivering animal welfare ethically

We operate a number of internal policies to ensure that we are delivering our animal welfare objectives in an ethical and transparent manner. These include:

  • Recruitment policy. We operate a robust recruitment policy, including conducting `eligibility to work in the UK¿ checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
  • Whistleblowing policy. We operate a whistleblowing policy so that all employees and volunteers know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues are being treated, or practices within the charity, without fear of reprisals.
  • Code of Conduct. We set high standards on the manner in which we behave as an organisation and how we expect our people to act.

We have a small international department which works primarily through partner organisations in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Our suppliers

The key suppliers used by us /our subsidiaries to enable it to fulfil our charitable purposes are:

  • veterinary drug suppliers and veterinary practices
  • private boarding establishments
  • pet food manufacturers
  • professional fundraising services and commercial participators
  • clothing and vehicle suppliers
  • recruitment and advertising agencies
  • law firms
  • Auditors and Financial Advisers

Modern Slavery Act statement

This  is made under section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It constitutes our Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2018. This statement is approved by our governing Council and CEO and reviewed annually.

We wholeheartedly support the principles behind the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and are undertaking the steps listed below in order to comply with the Act and guard against slavery and trafficking in our supply chain. We will continue to develop and build upon these activities throughout 2019.

  • Publish this statement in our Trustees Annual Report and website homepage
  • Insert relevant provisions into current supply contracts and seek positive confirmation from high-risk / key suppliers of their compliance with the Act, including subcontractors
  • Add compliance with the Modern Slavery Act into our mandatory terms for new supplier agreements and due diligence processes, make suppliers aware of our expectations that they comply with the Act
  • Provide training on detection and prevention to our staff most likely to come across human trafficking issues, such as forced labour and domestic servitude
  • Look at organisation wide e-learning programmes on slavery and human trafficking matters to be made available to staff during the course of 2019.

Adopted 27 February 2019 by RSPCA Board of Trustees

Chris Sherwood CEO