Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 CHAIRMANS MESSAGE Dear Member May I begin by thanking my fellow trustees, our members and the Charity’s dedicated staff for their unswerving support throughout my first full year as Chair; it has been a source of great satisfaction to witness their commitment to the Charity at first hand. The past year has been challenging for the Board with a lengthy internal disciplinary procedure and the subsequent paid suspension of the Chief Executive.

The trustees, mindful of their responsibilities, required the process be conducted in a fair and transparent fashion. Professional advice was sought as necessary and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland was briefed on every significant development in the disciplinary process. It is my belief that whilst we should ‘Learn from the Past’ we must always ‘Look to the Future’ and with that in mind I welcomed two new faces to the Board. Michelle Doran brings management skills to the Charity with particular expertise in the realm of Health & Safety. Bronagh Strain, enjoyed a long and successful career in banking, and is well qualified for her role as Honorary Treasurer.

The Board are mindful of the trust placed in them by our donors. As Trustees we are responsible for the effective and appropriate use of the charitable resources placed at our disposal. The review of governance, adopted by the Board in August 2014, became fully effective in the year ended March ’16 and its positive impact is evident in the standards of governance and accountability detailed in this report. The USPCA has served the needs of animals by its compassion and concern for 180 years. Whilst we now live in a world unrecognisable to that of our founders some things never change. The abuse and suffering of our animals be it deliberate or through ignorance remains a stain on Northern Ireland society.

Whilst the suffering of Belfast’s carthorses may be consigned to the past it has been replaced by issues such the exploitation of pups for profit and the shameful numbers of unwanted pets abandoned to their fate. The USPCA Board sought to address these injustices by campaigning for legislative change, raising public awareness of the cruelty endemic in profit driven puppy production, co-operating with agencies empowered to enforce Animal Welfare Laws and emphasising the need for future generations to be made aware of the merits of Responsible Pet Ownership.

The charitable work of the Newry Animal Hospital continued to expand with increasing numbers of companion animals and native wildlife benefitting from its expertise. It was and remains the Board’s commitment that charitable use of the excellent range of facilities at its disposal continues to be maximised. The Animal Hospital exists as a tangible tribute to the donors who funded the resource. The trustee’s task is to utilise their selfless generosity wisely and ensure the USPCA fulfils our charitable object “The Advancement of Animal Welfare”. I regard my involvement in this challenge as a privilege.

With your support and approval I look forward to playing a part in the charity’s future successes.

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 1 Contents Page Trustees’ Annual Report (incorporating the directors’ report . 2–11 Independent Auditor’s Report to the members . 12–13 Statement of financial activities (incorporating the income and expenditure account . 14 Balance sheet . 15 Statement of cash flows . 16 Notes to the financial statements . 17–29

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 2 Trustees’ Annual Report (incorporating the directors’ report) for the year ended 31st March 2016 The trustees are pleased to present their annual directors’ report together with the financial statements of the charity for the year ending 31 March 2016 which are also prepared to meet the requirements for a directors’ report and accounts for Companies Act purposes.

The financial statements comply with the Charities Act (NI) 2008, the Companies Act 2006, the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) (effective 1 January 2015).

REFERENCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE DETAILS NIC Charity registration number: NIC102755 Company registration number: NI00258 HMRC charity number: XN45066 Registered office: Unit 6, Carnbane Industrial Estate, Newry, BT35 6QH Advisors Auditors Finegan Gibson Ltd, Causeway Tower, 9 James Street South, Belfast, BT2 8DN Bankers Danske Bank Ltd. Portadown Finance Centre, 45 – 48 High Street, Portadown, BT62 1LB First Trust Bank, Hill Street, Newry, BT34 1AU Ulster Bank, 66 Hill Street, Newry, BT34 1YB Solicitors Edwards & Co. 28 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA Directors and Trustees The directors of the charitable company (the charity) are its trustees for the purpose of charity law.

The Trustees and officers serving during the year and since the year end were as follows: Trustees Helen Wilson Chair John Wilson Hon. Secretary Appointed 18 August 2015 Bronagh Strain Hon. Treasurer Appointed 26 April 2016 David Bailey James Cahill Resigned 30 November 2015 Philip Carson Appointed 18 August 2015 Michelle Doran Appointed 22 March 2016 Tim Kirby Appointed 18 August 2015 Tom Magner Resigned 16 December 2015 Denise South Secretary David Wilson Resigned 28 June 2016 Key management personnel Chief Executive Stephen Philpott Up to 13 May 2016 Interim Chief Executive Brendan Mullan Appointed 7 January 2016 Business Development Manager Colleen Dowdall

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 3 Objectives and activities The objects of the charity as outlined in its Memorandum and Articles of Association are: 1. The advancement of animal welfare. All of the work of the USPCA falls under this object, which is an approved purpose as listed in the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. 2. To obtain justice for animals and to endeavour by every legitimate means to put an end to cruelty to animals and to encourage kindness and humanity in their treatment. In furtherance of this object, the USPCA: • Is an active member of the DAERA Animal Health and Welfare Stakeholder Forum and contributes to policy consultations.

• Is an active member of Eurogroup for Animals, a Brussels based organisation whose remit is to promote animal health and welfare standards throughout the EU. • Proactively investigates and makes public many criminal acts including puppy trafficking organised dog fighting, badger bating, carted deer hunts and cock fighting. 3. To relieve the suffering of animals in need of care and attention and, in particular, to provide and maintain facilities for the reception, care and treatment of such animals. In furtherance of this object, the USPCA: • Operates an Animal Hospital in Newry. The hospital relieves the pain of suffering animals and provides other veterinary services for companion animals.

• Treats and relieves the pain of suffering wildlife. • Suffering pets and wildlife in other parts of NI are treated by local vets courtesy of a voucher scheme.

4. To promote humane behaviour towards animals by providing appropriate care, protection, treatment and security for animals which are in need of care and attention by reason of sickness, injury, maltreatment, poor circumstances or ill usage and to educate the public in matters pertaining to animal welfare in general and the prevention of cruelty and suffering among animals. In furtherance of this object, the USPCA: • Treats domestic companion animals in need of veterinary care at the Animal Hospital. • Provides temporary accommodation for companion animals whose owners become incapacitated through ill health or other personal circumstances and houses the animals until long term arrangements for their future are in place.

• Treats suffering wildlife prior to re-introduction to their natural environment.

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 4 • In partnership with the Trussell Trust, who operates food banks across NI, provides food parcels for the many companion animals belonging to individuals and families in need of support. 5. To advance education for the public in animal husbandry, care for animals and responsibility for animals and the consequences of not doing so. In furtherance of this object, the USPCA: • Provides animal welfare talks to schools and community groups. • Provides advice to the beneficiaries of the Animal Hospital services on health regimes and caring for their companion pets.

• Provides free spaying and neutering to prevent unwanted litters and support feral animal control. The USPCA services benefit those on low incomes in Northern Ireland by ensuring continued companionship from their pets, through the provision of veterinary services and pet food parcels. School children and community groups benefit through the education talks which deepens their understanding of pet care, encourages kindness to animals and promotes compassion. The public at large is also a beneficiary through the free spaying and neutering service which helps control the spread of feral animals and through the care of suffering wildlife which are useful to humanity.

Any potential harms are outweighed by the service benefits and alleviated through a formal process of risk assessments alongside robust health and safety policies and procedures. There are no private benefits to any individuals connected with the organisation other than the payment of salaries to staff or fees to third party service providers which is a necessary requirement in order to provide our services and therefore incidental to the carrying out of the purposes. In shaping our objectives for the year and planning our activities, the trustees have had regard to the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit under section 4(b) of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 5 ACHIEVEMENTS and Performance The Ulster Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) is the second oldest Animal Welfare Charity in the world founded in 1836. In response to the new Welfare of Animals Act (NI) which placed a statutory responsibility on Local Authorities to improve welfare standards and afford better protection from neglect, abuse and exploitation for companion animals, livestock and native wildlife, the USPCA has moved away from traditional animal recovery and sheltering practices to the provision of an Animal Hospital for the ‘Relief of Suffering’ and associated charitable services.

The Hospital treats many injured animals that would otherwise remain untreated and in distress. It also ensures that essential veterinary care is available for companion animals where the pet owners’ financial circumstances are an obstacle to their animal’s wellbeing. The USPCA also investigates and exposes animal cruelty and provides education programmes to promote responsible pet care and instil an appreciation for our native wildlife. In furtherance of its charitable objects, the charity recorded the following achievements during the year.

Animal Hospital Target Actual Achievement • Neutering and Spaying • Microchipping • Suffering (low income owners) 520 416 1456 578 399 5284 111% 96% 363% Veterinary Voucher Scheme Target Actual Achievement • Veterinary vouchers issued 364 320 88% Companion Animal Food Parcels Target Actual Achievement • Food parcels issued 1000 1560 156% School and Community Outreach Education Visits Target Actual Achievement • Outreach Education Visits 40 33 82% Investigations In the year under review our principal investigation was into the illegal and cruel trafficking of puppies from the Republic of Ireland through Northern Ireland and on into Scotland.

Working with our partners in the ISPCA, DSPCA, SSPCA, HMRC and the port authorities, the focus for the year was gathering information which will lead to positive action in 2016-17 to disrupt the trade.

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 6 Financial Review The charity incurred a loss of £386,300 in the year to 31 March 2016 (2015: surplus of £281,217). The loss was largely attributable to a reduction in legacy income received. Income Income for the year was £662,673 compared to £1,447,118 in 2015. Legacy income fell by almost £800,000. This income stream fluctuates continuously from year to year. Donations were £127,673 comparable to the 2015 figure of £130,324. It is pleasing to note the increase in hospital income of just over £50,000 signifying the continued growth in this vital service.

Expenditure Expenditure on charitable activities increased from £974,575 in 2015 to £1,012,219 in the year to 31 March 2016. The principal contributors to the increase were Veterinary Fees and Medicines, reflecting the increased volume of service at the Animal Hospital; and Governance Costs reflecting an increase in legal & professional fees. Balance Sheet The Balance Sheet remains healthy with unrestricted income funds of £1,782,283 of which £926,660 is committed in fixed assets.

Investment powers and policy Cash reserves, having regard to the liquidity requirements of the charity, are held in an interest bearing deposit account.

The charity holds investment property at Divernagh Road, Bessbrook; the rental income from which contributes towards the rental costs of the Animal Hospital. The charity holds a number of shares in listed companies (previous legacies received) of £8,997. Reserves policy and going concern Each year the Trustees review the value of the reserves retained in the form of investments, cash and cash equivalents not held for restricted purposes or designated projects. The Trustee’s consider the charity’s exposure to major risks in terms of their likely impact on its income sources and planned expenditure in the short to medium term, as well as assessing the best way to mitigate such risks.

This will include analysis of short term setbacks; regular short term fluctuations; growth plans within the charity and risks identified within the corporate risk register. The major risk to be managed with regard to income is the significant fluctuations in legacy income on a year to year basis.

The present level of free reserves is £855,623 and the Trustees view this as sufficient to offset any short to medium term reduction in legacy income and to ensure that the going concern assumption is appropriate.

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 7 PLANS FOR FUTURE PERIODS Mission Statement “The USPCA as a charity, will protect all animals by all lawful means, prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering of animals.” This will be achieved by: • Operating a strong and effective national organisation dedicated to providing a public service, delivering effective relief of animal sufferings.

• Providing pain relief, treatment, neutering, spaying and microchipping at the animal hospital. • Supporting the relief of animal suffering across Northern Ireland through the veterinary voucher scheme.

• Promoting responsible pet ownership. • Providing shelter and rehoming companion animals in cases of social need. • Providing pet food parcels to community food banks. • Working tirelessly to reduce the harmful impact of human activities on animals through education and campaigning. • Exposing, reporting and supporting the prosecution of organised cruelty to animals. Values The USPCA will deliver its services with integrity and openness, building trust with service users and stakeholders.

The USPCA staff and volunteers are passionate, committed and uncompromising in their support of animal welfare and the relief of animal suffering.

The USPCA is independent, objective and consistent in the pursuit of its founding principle – the relief of suffering in animals. The USPCA is non-judgemental, understanding that wider issues can lead to animal cruelty. Despite operational difficulties over the last five months of the year, the USPCA has made good progress against the operational targets agreed for the year to 31 March 2016. Over the coming months the Trustees will establish a new three-year operational plan. Priority areas within this process will be: • Enhancing the operational performance and services of the animal hospital.

• Reducing the financial dependency of the charity on legacy income and thereby releasing this income stream to fund new developments.

• Enhancing the focus and delivery of investigations. • Strengthening relationships with stakeholders.

Directors' Report and Financial Statements

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 8 STRUCTURE, GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT Legal Status The USPCA is a Company Limited by Guarantee, not having a share capital and satisfies the criteria set out in Section 60 of the Companies Act 2006 whereby it is exempted from the use of the word “Limited” as part of the company name. Governing Document The charity is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association dated 10th September 2014.

It is a membership organisation and each member agrees to contribute £1 in the event of the charity winding up.

Charitable Status The USPCA is a registered charity with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, registration number NIC 102755. It is also recognised as a charity for taxation purposes by HMRC, registration number XN 45066. Appointment of Trustees The Board consists of up to nine Trustees, the Chairperson, Hon. Treasurer, Hon. Secretary and up to six others. When recruiting to vacancies, the Board will consider the skills mix and diversity of the current Board. The recruitment process will involve a wide trawl in order that a range of candidates can be considered for the vacancy. The pool of candidates may be a combination of applicants resulting from public advertising and nominations resulting from consultations with Board members or appropriate professional bodies.

Once a nominee has agreed to join the Board, the Board will pass a resolution to co-opt the new member as a Trustee. Appointment is up to the next AGM at which the Trustee will retire but be eligible for re-election. At each AGM, Trustees who have served four consecutive years or more must retire and are eligible for re-election for a further four years. A Trustee shall not serve in excess of a continuous period of eight years. Trustee Induction and Training Each new Trustee receives induction training through which they are made aware of their legal obligations under charity and company law, the content of the Memorandum and Articles of Association, the governance structure and protocols as laid out in the charity’s Governance Handbook, the committee and decision making processes, the business plan and recent financial performance of the charity.

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 9 Arrangements for Setting Pay and Remuneration of Key Management Personnel Salary levels are set having regard to pay levels in other charities of similar size. The USPCA undertakes a cost of living salary review annually with affordability being the principal requirement to be met prior to any award. Going forward, consideration will be given to bench marking salaries every three years, subject to the cost of such an exercise not being prohibitive.

Organisation Structure and how Charity makes decisions The Board of Trustees, which can have up to 9 members, has ultimate legal and financial responsibility for the affairs of the USPCA.

The board meets at least quarterly and there is also an Audit & Risk Committee which meets quarterly. A Chief Executive is appointed by the Trustees to manage the day-to-day operations of the charity and has responsibility for operational matters including finance, employment and direct charitable activities within clear thresholds of delegated authority approved by the Trustees. Management In 2014-15 the USPCA undertook a comprehensive review of governance and implemented a series of measures to further strengthen the charity’s operations. In November 2015, in response to concerns raised internally regarding the management of the charity, an independent investigation and report was commissioned by the Board of Trustees.

The final and detailed report was considered by the Board and steps taken to initiate a disciplinary process. This ultimately led to the dismissal of the Chief Executive on 13 May 2016 on grounds of gross misconduct. Relationships with Related Parties All Trustees give of their time freely and no Trustee received remuneration in the year. Details of Trustees’ expenses and related party transactions are disclosed in notes 12 and 14 to the accounts.

Risk management The trustees have a risk management strategy which comprises: • an annual review of the principal risks and uncertainties that the charity faces; • the establishment of policies, systems and procedures to mitigate those risks identified in the annual review; and • the implementation of procedures designed to minimise or manage any potential impact on the charity should those risks materialise. The Board has delegated oversight responsibility for risk management to its Audit & Risk Committee. The Audit and Risk Committee reports twice a year to the Board on the charity’s risk register.

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 10 TRUSTEES’ RESPONSIBILITIES IN RELATION TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS The charity trustees (who are also the directors of The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the purposes of company law) are responsible for preparing the trustees’ annual report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice). Company law requires the trustees to prepare accounts for each financial year. Under company law the trustees must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the charity and the income and expenditure of the charity for that period.

In preparing these accounts, the trustees are required to: • select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently; • observe the methods and principles in the Charities SORP; • make judgements and accounting estimates that are reasonable and prudent; • state whether applicable UK accounting standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and • prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the charity will continue in operation.

The trustees are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the charity’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the charity and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006.

They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. The trustees are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the charitable company’s website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

STATEMENT AS TO DISCLOSURE TO OUR AUDITORS Each of the persons who is a trustee at the date of approval of this report confirms that: • so far as each trustee is aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the charity’s auditor is unaware; and • each trustee has taken all steps that they ought to have taken as a trustee to make themselves aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the charity’s auditor is aware of that information.

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 11 AUDITOR Finegan Gibson Ltd are deemed to be re-appointed under section 487(2) of the Companies Act 2006.

Signed by order of the trustees _ _ Helen L Wilson Bronagh Strain Chair Hon. Treasurer Date: 20 September 2016

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 12 Independent auditors’ report to the members of Ulster Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Limited We have audited the accounts of The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the year ended 31st March 2016 which comprise the Statement of Financial Activities, the Balance Sheet and the related notes. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) (effective January 2015).

This report is made solely to the charity’s members, as a body, in accordance with Chapter 3 of Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the charity’s trustees those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor’s report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the charity and the charity’s trustees as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.

RESPECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES OF TRUSTEES AND AUDITOR As explained more fully in the Trustees’ Annual Report, the trustees (who are also the directors of the charitable company for the purposes of company law) are responsible for the preparation of accounts and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view.

Our responsibility is to audit and express an opinion on the accounts in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). Those standards require us to comply with the Auditing Practices Board’s Ethical Standards for Auditors, including APB Ethical Standard – Provisions Available for Small Entities (Revised), in the circumstances set out in note 28 to the financial statements.

SCOPE OF THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS An audit involves obtaining evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the accounts sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the accounts are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or error. This includes an assessment of: whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the charity’s circumstances and have been consistently applied and adequately disclosed; the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by the trustees; and the overall presentation of the accounts. In addition, we read all the financial and non-financial information in the Trustees’ Annual Report to identify material inconsistencies with the audited accounts.

If we become aware of any apparent material misstatements or inconsistencies, we consider the implications for our report.

OPINION ON ACCOUNTS In our opinion the accounts: • give a true and fair view of the state of the charitable company’s affairs as at 31 March 2016 and of its incoming resources and application of resources, including its income and expenditure, for the year then ended; • have been properly prepared in accordance with applicable accounting standards; and • have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 13 OPINION ON OTHER MATTER PRESCRIBED BY THE COMPANIES ACT 2006 In our opinion the information given in the Trustees’ Annual Report for the financial year for which the accounts are prepared is consistent with the accounts.

MATTERS ON WHICH WE ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT BY EXCEPTION We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters where the Companies Act 2006 requires us to report to you if, in our opinion: • adequate accounting records have not been kept or returns adequate for our audit have not been received from branches not visited by us; or • the accounts are not in agreement with the accounting records and returns; or • certain disclosures of trustees’ remuneration specified by law are not made; or • we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit; or • the directors were not entitled to take advantage of the small companies’ exemption in preparing the directors’ report.

_ _ PAUL DOLAN ACA (Senior Statutory Auditor) For and on behalf of FINEGAN GIBSON LTD Chartered Accountants & Statutory Auditors Causeway Tower 9 James Street South Belfast BT2 8DN Date: 20 September 2016

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 14 Unrestricted Total Total Funds 2016 2015 Notes £ Income Donations and legacies 2 396,842 396,842 1,181,101 Income from charitable activities; 3 Prevention of cruelty and relief of suffering 178,261 178,261 126,802 Income from other trading activities: 4 Shop sales 27,222 27,222 – Investment income 5 45,848 45,848 46,643 Other 6 14,500 14,500 92,572 Total income 662,673 662,673 1,447,118 Expenditure Expenditure on charitable activities Prevention of cruelty and relief of suffering 7 1,012,219 1,012,219 974,575 Expenditure on raising funds Expenditure on trading activities 8 36,754 36,754 – Other 10 – – 191,326 Total expenditure 1,048,973 1,048,973 1,165,901 Net income/(expenditure) (386,300) (386,300) 281,217 Reconciliation of funds Fund balances at 1 April 2015 2,165,683 2,165,683 1,884,466 Prior year adjustment 2,900 2,900 – Restated total funds brought forward 2,168,583 2,168,583 1,884,466 Fund balances at 31 March 2016 1,782,283 1,782,283 2,165,683 The Statement of financial activities includes all gains and losses in the year.

All of the above amounts relate to continuing activities. Statement of Financial Activities (Incorporating the Income and Expenditure Account) Year ended 31st March 2016 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 15 Balance Sheet 31st March 2016 2016 2015 Note £ Fixed assets Tangible assets 15 577,663 660,451 Investments 16 348,997 346,097 926,660 1,006,548 Current assets Stocks 24,349 26,389 Current assets held for resale – 180,000 Debtors 17 43,470 61,089 Cash at bank 919,142 1,173,914 986,961 1,441,392 Creditors: Amounts falling due within one year 18 (120,212) (266,237) Net current assets 866,749 1,175,155 Total assets less current liabilities 1,793,409 2,181,703 Creditors: Amounts falling due after more than one year 19 (11,126) (16,020) Net assets 1,782,283 2,165,683 The funds of the charity: Unrestricted income funds 21 1,782,283 2,165,683 Total charity funds 1,782,283 2,165,683 These accounts have been prepared in accordance with the special provisions of Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies and constitute the annual accounts required by the Companies Act 2006 and are for circulation to members of the company.

Approved by the board of Directors and signed on its behalf by: _ _ Helen L Wilson Bronagh Strain Chair Hon. Treasurer Date: 20 September 2016 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 16 STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS 31st March 2016 2016 2015 Note £ £ Cash used in operating activities 23 (110,110) 152,852 Cash flows from investing activities Interest income 4,368 7,562 Rental income 40,435 39,906 Purchase of tangible fixed assets (13,193) (370,255) Proceeds from the disposal of fixed assets 1,000 90,897 Cash provided by (used in) investing activities 32,610 (231,890) Cash flows from financing activities – – Repayment of borrowing (177,272) – Loan financing – 137,783 Increase / (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents for the year (254,772) 58,745 Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year 1,173,914 1,115,169 Total cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year 919,142 1,173,914 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 17 noteS to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 1. Accounting policies The principal accounting policies are summarised below: Basis of accounting The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) (effective 1 January 2015) – (Charities SORP (FRS 102)), the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) and the Companies Act 2006.

Reconciliation with previous Generally Accepted Accounting Practice In preparing the accounts, the trustees have considered whether in applying the accounting policies required by FRS 102 and the Charities SORP FRS 102 the restatement of comparative items was required.

No restatement was considered necessary regarding the transition to FRS 102. Going concern The charity reported a net cash outflow of (£386,300) for the year and have unrestricted reserves of £1,782,283. The trustees are of the view that these reserves are sufficient for the charity for at least the next 12 months and that on this basis the charity is a going concern. Income Income is recognised when the charity has entitlement to the funds, any performance conditions attached to the item(s) of income have been met, it is probable that the income will be received and the amount can be measured reliably.

For legacies, entitlement is taken as the earlier of the date on which either, the charity is aware that probate has been granted, the estate has been finalised and notification has been made by the executor to the charity that a distribution will be made, or when a distribution is received from the estate. Receipt of a legacy, in whole or in part, is only considered probable when the amount can be measured reliably and the charity has been notified of the executors intention to make a distribution. Interest on funds held on deposit is included when receivable and the amount can be measured reliably by the charity; this is normally upon notification of the interest paid or payable by the Bank.

The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 18 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 Donated services and facilities are recognised as income when the charity has control over the item, associated conditions have been met, the receipt of economic benefit is probable and the economic benefit can be reliably measured. A corresponding amount is then recognised in expenditure in the period of receipt. In accordance with the Charities SORP (FRS 102), general volunteer time is not recognised.

Fund accounting Unrestricted funds are available to spend on activities that further any of the purposes of charity. Expenditure and irrecoverable VAT Expenditure is recognised once there is legal or constructive obligation to make a payment to a third party, it is probable that settlement will be required and the amount of the obligation can be measured reliably. Expenditure is classified under the following activity headings: • Costs of raising funds comprise the costs of primary purpose trading. • Expenditure on charitable activities includes the costs of activities undertaken to further the purposes of the charity and their associated support costs.

• Other expenditure represents those items not falling into any other heading. Irrecoverable VAT is charged as a cost against the related activity. Allocation of support costs Support costs are those functions that assist the work of the charity but do not directly undertake charitable activities. Support costs include office costs, finance, personnel and governance costs which support the Charity’s activities. These costs have been allocated between expenditure on charitable activities. The bases on which support costs have been allocated are set out in note 9. Operating leases Costs in respect of operating leases are charged on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

Tangible fixed assets Individual fixed assets costing £500 or more are capitalised at cost and are depreciated over their estimated useful economic lives on a straight line basis.

The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 19 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 Depreciation Depreciation is calculated so as to write off the cost of an asset, less its estimated residual value, over the useful economic life of that asset as follows: Land & Building Free hold – 2% Straight line Leasehold property – Straight line over the life of the lease Plant & Machinery – 10% Straight line Fixtures & Fittings – 10% Straight line Motor Vehicles – 25% Straight line Investments Investments include redeemable preference shares and an investment property.

Redeemable preference share capital is stated at its subscription amount less any provision for diminution in value. The value of UK listed investments is determined by reference to readily available market prices.

Investment property is revalued at each reporting date. Investment property is stated at fair value with changes in fair value recognised in the profit and loss. Stock Stock is included at the lower of cost or net realisable value. Donated items of stock are recognised at fair value which is the amount the charity would have been willing to pay for the items on the open market. Debtors Trade and other debtors are recognised at the settlement amount due after any discount offered. Prepayments are valued at the amount prepaid net of any discounts due. Cash at bank and in hand Cash at bank and cash in hand includes cash and short term highly liquid investments with a short maturity of three months or less from the date of acquisition or opening of the deposit or similar account.

Creditors and provisions Creditors and provisions are recognised where the charity has a present obligation resulting from a past event that will probably result in the transfer of funds to a third party and the amount due to settle the obligation can be measured or estimated reliably. Creditors and provisions are normally recognised at their settlement amount after allowing for any trade discounts due. The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 20 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 Prior period adjustments USPCA acquired land & building at 13 Clougharevan Road, Bessbrook, BT35 7BH in a previous financial year.

The premises were acquired for charitable use and initially held as a tangible asset. Subsequently the asset was leased to third parties and at that point should have been accounted as investment property. Thecumulativeeffectofthechangeonthefundsbroughtforwardoftheentityat1April20 15isa£2,900 increase. The property has been restated as an investment property within the comparative figure. 2. Donations and legacies Unrestricted Funds Unrestricted Funds 2016 2015 £ £ Donations 127,673 130,324 Legacies 268,989 1,048,884 Subscriptions 180 1,893 396,842 1,181,101 3. Income from charitable activities Unrestricted Funds Unrestricted Funds 2016 2015 £ £ Veterinary services 178,261 123,964 Income from councils – 2,623 Claim Income – 215 178,261 126,802 4.

Income from other trading activities Unrestricted Funds Unrestricted Funds 2016 2015 £ £ Shop sales 27,222 – In the previous year trading via the shop was conducted by USPCA Trading Ltd with shop sales of £25,800. This company ceased trading on 31st March 2015 at which date all assets and liabilities were transferred to the charity, including the shop trade.

The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 21 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 5. Investment income Unrestricted Funds Unrestricted Funds 2016 2015 £ £ Rental income 40,891 39,906 Bank interest and dividends 4,957 6,737 45,848 46,643 6. Other income Unrestricted Funds Unrestricted Funds 2016 2015 £ £ Gain on disposal of tangible assets 1,000 90,897 Other income 13,500 1,675 14,500 92,572 7. Analysis of expenditure on charitable activities Prevention of cruelty & Total Total relief of suffering 2016 2015 £ £ £ Veterinarian fees & medicines 241,278 241,278 183,823 Grooming services 12,059 12,059 13,165 Pet food banks 2,293 2,293 - Wages & salaries 166,287 166,287 175,821 Repairs & Maintenance 21,830 21,830 29,951 Motor & Travel Costs 17,194 17,194 29,223 Publicity, fundraising and support 32,942 32,942 11,390 Direct Charitable investigations 26,725 26,725 15,421 Subscriptions 14,046 14,046 3,229 Telephone 7,463 7,463 7,372 Rent & rates 65,110 65,110 106,134 Light & heat 11,276 11,276 14,486 Hire Purchase Charges 2,711 2,711 2,974 Depreciation 93,139 93,139 96,045 Governance costs (see note 9) 163,889 163,889 126,651 Support costs (see note 9) 133,977 133,977 158,890 1,012,219 1,012,219 974,575 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 22 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 8. Analysis of expenditure on raising funds Shop Total Total 2016 2015 £ £ £ Shop expenditure 20,952 20,952 – Telephone 612 612 – Rent & rates 5,339 5,339 – Light & heat 925 925 – Governance costs (see note 9) 2,444 2,444 – Support costs (see note 9) 6,482 6,482 – 36,754 36,754 – In the previous year trading via the shop was conducted by USPCA Trading Ltd. This company ceased trading on 31st March 2015 and at which date all assets and liabilities were transferred to the charity, including the shop trade.

9. Analysis of governance and support costs The charity initially identifies the costs of its support functions. It then identifies those costs which relate to the governance function. Having identified its governance costs, the remaining support costs together with the governance costs have been allocated to one key charitable activities undertaken. Refer to the table below for the basis of apportionment and the analysis of support and governance costs. General Governance 2016 2015 Basis of support Function Total Total apportionment £ Wages & salaries 103,790 – 103,790 116,582 Income Staff training 674 – 674 575 Direct cost Telephone 424 – 424 388 Income Rent & rates 3,708 – 3,708 5,586 Floor space Light & heat 642 – 642 762 Floor space Repairs & maintenance 2,455 – 2,455 3,009 Floor space Insurance 10,683 – 10,683 10,103 Floor space Cleaning materials & consumables 3,841 – 3,841 3,863 Floor space Printing, postage & stationery 12,250 – 12,250 12,524 Income Sundry expenditure 1,992 – 1,992 5,498 Income Accountancy fees – 38,529 38,529 34,752 Income Audit fees – 7,250 7,250 12,758 Income Legal and professional fees – 106,847 106,847 58,103 Direct cost Trustee meetings – 5,251 5,251 2,551 Income Bank interest & charges – 8,456 8,456 18,487 Income 140,459 166,333 306,792 285,541 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 23 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 10. Other income and expenditure Unrestricted Funds Unrestricted Funds 2016 2015 £ £ Benvarden Write Down – 200,752 Income from exceptional write off of Intercompany balance with USPCA Trading Ltd – (9,426) – 191,326 11. Net incoming resources for the year This is stated after charging: 2016 2015 £ £ Depreciation – owned assets 90,939 93,845 – Assets held under hire purchase contracts 2,200 2,200 Auditors’ remuneration: - audit of the financial statements 7,250 12,758 12.

Analysis of staff costs, trustee remuneration and expenses, and the cost of key management personnel Total staff costs were as follows: 2016 2015 £ £ Wages and salaries 247,325 267,919 Social security costs 22,751 24,483 270,076 292,402 The number of employees whose remuneration for the year fell within the following bands, were: 2016 2015 No No £80,000 to £89,999 1 1 The charity trustees were not paid or received any other benefits from employment with the Charity in the year (2015: nil). They were reimbursed travel expenses during the year totalling £3,388 (2015: £1,242).

The key management personnel of the charity comprise the Trustees, Chief Executive and Business Development Manager. The total employee benefits of the key management personnel of the charity total £129,003 (2015: £129,141). The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 24 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 13. Staff numbers The average monthly head count during the year were as follows: 2016 2015 No No Number of staff 8 10 8 10 14. Related party transactions Helen Wilson is a director of USPCA and was a director of Marine Media (NI) Ltd until November 2015.

David Wilson is the husband of Helen Wilson and former company secretary of USPCA. During the year he provided public relations and governance services to the USPCA personally and through his company Marine Media (NI) Ltd to the value of £14,600 (Year ended 31 March 2015: £24,575). At 31 March 2016 he or his company was owed £1,260 (Year ended 31 March 2015: £1,560). All transactions were conducted on normal commercial terms and negotiated on an arm’s length basis.

Michelle Doran is a director of USPCA. During the year she provided health and safety audit services to the USPCA through MSafe NI to the value of £175. All transactions were conducted on normal commercial terms and negotiated on an arm’s length basis. The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 25 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 15. Tangible fixed assets Plant Fixtures Motor Long Total and and Vehicles Leasehold Machinery Fittings Property £ Cost At 1 April 2015 264,285 451,813 84,123 499,524 1,299,745 Additions 7,213 3,138 – – 10,351 Disposals (16,974) – (19,500) – (36,474) At 31 March 2016 254,524 454,951 64,623 499,524 1,273,622 Depreciation At 1 April 2015 (210,503) (228,447) (63,634) (136,710) (639,294) Charge for the year (10,495) (37,476) (10,201) (34,967) (93,139) On disposals 16,974 19,500 36,474 At 31 March 2016 (204,024) (265,923) (54,335) (171,677) (695,959) Net Book Value At 31 March 2016 50,500 189,028 10,288 327,847 577,663 At 31 March 2015 53,782 223,366 20,489 362,814 660,451 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 26 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 16. Fixed Asset Investments 2016 2015 £ £ Shareholdings 8,997 8,997 Investment property 340,000 337,100 Total 348,997 346,097 17. Debtors 2016 2015 £ £ Trade debtors 12,537 24,301 Other debtors 25,208 30,817 Prepayments and accrued income 5,725 5,971 43,470 61,089 18. Creditors: Amounts falling due within one year 2016 2015 £ £ Bank loan – 177,214 Net Obligations under finance leases and hire purchase contracts 14,273 12,769 Trade creditors 58,503 41,180 Taxation and social security 6,949 7,184 Other creditors 1,639 2,144 Accruals 38,848 25,746 120,212 266,237 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 27 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 19. Creditors: Amounts falling due after more than one year 2016 2015 £ £ Net obligations under finance leases and hire purchase contracts 11,126 16,020 11,126 16,020 20. Restricted Income Funds There were no restricted income funds held by the charity. 21. Unrestricted income funds Balance at Income Expenditure Balance at 31 March 2016 31 March 2016 £ General Funds 2,168,583 662,673 (1,048,973) 1,782,283 22. Analysis of net assets between funds Unrestricted Funds 2016 2015 £ £ £ Tangible fixed assets and net investments 926,660 926,660 1,006,548 Net current Assets/ (liabilities) 855,623 855,623 1,159,135 1,782,283 1,782,283 2,165,683 The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 28 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 23. Reconciliation of net movement in funds to net cash flow from operation activities 2016 2015 £ £ Net movements in funds (386,300) 281,217 Add back depreciation charge 93,139 96,045 Deduct bank interest receivable (4,368) (7,562) Deduct rental income (40,435) (39,906) Unrealised losses/(gains) on investments – – Deduct profit on disposal tangible fixed assets (1,000) (90,897) Revaluation of tangible fixed assets – 200,752 Decrease/(increase) in stocks 2,040 (9,563) Decrease/(increase) in debtors 17,619 (24,729) Decrease/(increase) in other current assets 180,000 (180,000) Increase/(decrease) in creditors 26,295 (72,505) Adjustments of depreciation charged on investment property 2,900 – (110,110) 152,852 24.

Financial commitments At 31 March 2016 the company had annual commitments under two non-cancellable operating leases as follows: 31 March 2016 31 March 2015 Expiry date: £ £ Within one year 42,000 72,500 Between one and five years 290,500 305,750 Greater than five years 329,000 415,750 Greater than five years 661,500 794,000 25. Contingent liability At the date of signing the accounts there is ongoing litigation with regard the employment and dismissal of the former Chief Executive. The charity may incur costs in the future in this regard which cannot be quantified at this time.

The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements Year ended 31st March 2016 29 Notes to the financial statements For the year ended 31st March 2016 26. Legal status of the Charity Each of the members of the company has guaranteed to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of the same being wound up to the extent of £1. 27. Corporation Taxation The Charity’s activities fall within the exemptions afforded by the provisions of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988. Accordingly, there is no taxation charge in these accounts.

28. APB Ethical Standard – Provisions available for small entities In common with many other organisations of its size, the USPCA use the auditors to prepare and submit returns to the tax authorities and assist with the preparation of the financial statements. The notes on pages 17-29 form part of these accounts

30 USPCA – Update NEW FACES Alan Bolton Hospital Manager and Senior Veterinary Surgeon Alan was born in Derry and graduated from The Royal Veterinary College, London with distinction in Surgery. He worked in Small animal practice in the UK, including a period at the PDSA in South London, before moving to Australia to work for The Lost Dogs’ Home in Melbourne, the largest animal shelter in the southern hemisphere. At the home he was responsible for leading a large team of vets and nurses looking after 26,000 lost and stray dogs and cats per year. His main clinical interest is surgery, having experience in both soft tissue and orthopaedics.

He has a passion for animal welfare, helping animals who have found themselves, through no fault of their own, in unfortunate circumstances. He strongly believes that every dog and cat deserves a loving forever home.

Alan is very excited to have joined the team at the USPCA and looks forward to leading the team in developing the services offered by the hospital in providing veterinary care to animals in need. The USPCA has recently welcomed two new trustees onto the Board. Each brings an impressive record of accomplishments to the table. These appointments add significantly to the skills base of an already talented team of trustees. Michelle Doran – Trustee Michelle Doran has always had a keen interest in the welfare of animals and enjoys spending downtime with her horse and two boxer dogs. Michelle has been involved in Health and Safety for over 15 years and is currently Managing Director of SHEQ Consultancy Practice in Lurgan, County Armagh.

With her experience as a lecturer in Health & Safety, Environment and Quality for many Training Providers in both North and South of Ireland, Michelle’s management skills and professional expertise add another dimension to the USPCA Board. Michelle has previously sat on the Board of the Construction Industry Training Board. During her time with CITB she was a member of the Internal Health and Safety Committee; Audit Committee; Training Committee and enjoyed her two terms as a Board Member immensely.

Michelle has two grown up boys and they ensure that she gets the whole “work life balance” in the correct proportion.

Bronagh Strain – Trustee and Honorary Treasurer Bronagh, who resides in Newry, had thirty five years of experience in the Banking sector before availing of an early retirement option in 2012. Her career encompassed all aspects of banking throughout the Northern Ireland branch network and various Head Office departments. Roles included managing the team responsible for Credit Audit throughout NI. Bronagh was actively involved in the area of Compliance and Risk Management having held a Senior Managerial Role for several years. A former Board Member of CCMS Bronagh is a member of Women in Business (NI) and undertakes voluntary work for the Southern Area Hospice, freely giving her time to a cause she finds extremely rewarding.

31 31 USPCA – Update USPCA campaigns are initiated to raise public awareness of problems that are ‘under the radar’ or to seek changes in animal welfare legislation. There are three principal issues on which the USPCA is actively campaigning at present. CAMPAIGNS BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION Should a healthy companion animal be destroyed because of its physical characteristics? The response of the USPCA is an emphatic NO. We can think of no better example of judging a book by its cover than the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. Legislation that is now 25 years old, it was brought in at Westminster as a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to a series of high profile and appalling dog attacks on children and adults.

The Law then filtered through to Northern Ireland.

It is our opinion these attacks were carried out by animals whose temperament was compromised beyond repair by their reprehensible owners. The only ‘concession’ since the Order’s introduction now allows for a Magistrate to make a Contingent Destruction Order on a dog which he considers to be a danger to the public OR, if he assesses that the dog poses no danger to the public, it allows him to impose conditions on the dog which must be adhered to. Neutering, muzzling and kept on a leash whilst in a public place etc. If the conditions are adhered to within 2 months of a Magistrate’s decision, the Council may then issue a Certificate of Exemption to the owner and licence the dog.

A legal afterthought surrounded by if’s and but’s. The USPCA accepts that large and powerful dogs such as Pitbull Terriers are NOT suitable companion animals for every family circumstance. They require understanding owners capable of controlling and caring for a breed that has many merits.

It is high time this injustice is addressed and the USPCA has been and will continue to influence our legislators to effect changes that will put a stop to this injustice and allow currently ‘illegal’ dogs to live out their lives with responsible and caring owners.

32 USPCA – Update INTERNET SALE OF PETS Pups are the companion animal most commonly exploited for profit. The USPCA commits significant charitable resources addressing the issue by: • Educating would be buyers by pointing out the many pitfalls that await the unwary. • Monitoring the activity of traffickers smuggling pups through Northern Ireland.

• Liaising with HMRC, Port Authorities, DAERA and SPCA’s across the UK and ROI. The vast majority of pups sold on the internet to local buyers are bred within the island of Ireland. Some countries in Western Europe (including the UK mainland) are experiencing a significant increase in puppy numbers being offered for sale that originated in Eastern Europe. Puppy farms in Ireland (North and South) produce more than enough pups to service the home market and still export thousands of pups each year into the UK and beyond.

Traceability of animals offered for sale and the rigorous enforcement of breeding / export legislation are fundamental to addressing the animal welfare abuses and economic crime endemic in internet puppy sales. If charities and statutory agencies are to cooperate effectively in addressing these issues we need controls on sites advertising pups for sale. The USPCA plays a key role in Operation Delphin, an ongoing multi-agency initiative targeting puppy traffickers in Ireland and has found a degree of acceptance on the part of websites that a problem exists and they are now a source of vital intelligence.

However we cannot rely on short term cooperation as a long-term solution. The USPCA seek to build on this cooperation. If effective self-regulation on the part of websites is possible it could be considered, however, we are investigating other means of control that can be subjected to proper scrutiny.

33 33 USPCA – Update REGISTER OF BANNED KEEPERS When the USPCA re-homes an animal, it takes sensible precautions to ensure the new environment is suited to the animal’s needs by way of a home check. However, we are currently denied the ability to access potentially key information on the individual wishing to acquire an animal. Currently there is no means of determining if the re-homer has any previous conviction/s for the abuse of animals or had any bans imposed. Rehoming Charities should have ready access to an ‘Animal Abuser Register’ a database of persons convicted of abuse under the Welfare of Animals (Northern Ireland) 2011 Act.

Whilst we have heard objections to the compilation of such a record on the basis of data protection and human rights, we do not accept these arguments and feel the protection of vulnerable animals from unnecessary suffering is an overriding consideration. Convictions are reported in the media and therefore are in the public domain; however, this information is not collated into a ‘Register’ available to the many re-homing centres and other stakeholders across the province. It is our view ONE agency should maintain the register and the USPCA would favour the PSNI as keeper.

This matter of concern is being raised by the USPCA with those with the remit to effect change.

REGISTER OF BANNED KEEPERS When the USPCA re-homes an animal, it takes sensible precautions to ensure the new environment is suited to the animal’s needs by way of a home check. However, we are currently denied the ability to access potentially key information on the individual wishing to acquire an animal. Currently there is no means of determining if the re-homer has any previous conviction/s for the abuse of animals or had any bans imposed. Rehoming Charities should have ready access to an ‘Animal Abuser Register’ a database of persons convicted of abuse under the Welfare of Animals (Northern Ireland) 2011 Act.

Whilst we have heard objections to the compilation of such a record on the basis of data protection and human rights, we do not accept these arguments and feel the protection of vulnerable animals from unnecessary suffering is an overriding consideration. Convictions are reported in the media and therefore are in the public domain; however, this information is not collated into a ‘Register’ available to the many re-homing centres and other stakeholders across the province. It is our view ONE agency should maintain the register and the USPCA would favour the PSNI as keeper.

This matter of concern is being raised by the USPCA with those with the remit to effect change.

34 USPCA – Update OPERATION DELPHIN The USPCA play a key role in Operation Delphin, a multi-agency initiative intended to disrupt the illegal trafficking of pups into Northern Ireland and onwards to the UK. Pups bred in the Irish Republic are smuggled into NI without the required veterinary paperwork that confirms their health status etc. Mixed litters of very young pups are subjected to long journeys whilst confined to crates, an ideal environment for the spread of fatal diseases such as Parvo. The Charity is delighted to report Operation Delphin has already impacted on this evil trade and many of the rescued animals are admitted to the USPCA Veterinary Hospital for health checks before being returned for re- homing to our partners in their country of birth.

Delphin is a long term project and, for as long as it remains effective; the USPCA will continue to contribute intelligence and resources to support of the strategy. Front cover and puppy pictures courtesy of Pearce Media.

35 35 USPCA – Update BADGER CULL TO BE INCREASED IN ENGLAND – USPCA CONCERNS When questioned about ongoing plans to expand the cull of badgers (4,000 creatures shot to date) into additional areas within England a spokesperson from the farming community in Herefordshire pointed to the system of Trap, Vaccinate and Release (TVR) as practiced in Northern Ireland as a humane and pragmatic response to the serious welfare problems endemic in bovine tuberculosis.

TVR involves trapping badgers, testing them for TB and humanely destroying those found to be infected. Creatures testing clear of the disease are vaccinated as protection from infection and released.

In the face of significant opposition the USPCA played its part in preventing the introduction here of the ‘kill’ system in England & Wales and NI’s badgers were spared a cull. Acceptance that TB is a serious problem within the badger population led to the introduction in designated areas of Northern Ireland of a TVR Research Project as a means of monitoring badger movements and establishing the part (if any) they play in the transmission of the disease in cattle. Year Two of the project has finished and a report is available to stakeholders. It does not contain any interim results, the overall conclusions will not be published until Field Work ends in 2018 and the data is fully analysed.

With an ongoing cost of the project to Government of close to £1 million per year the USPCA is concerned our much publicised budgetary pressures may well impact negatively on the research with the authorities reverting to a cull as being as a cost effective option. Incidentally, the killing cost per badger in England & Wales has been confirmed by government as £6775 per kill, a figure that is hardly ‘cost effective’. The USPCA will monitor the situation locally; it is our view the completion of the TVR research could provide the knowledge needed to help veterinary science eradicate a disease that afflicts both badgers and livestock.

DITCHED A shabby cardboard box dumped in a South Down garden was thought to be litter by the owners of the property and they were right twice over! In the box was a litter of ten very young springer spaniel pups ditched by a heartless individual and left to fend for themselves. The pups were brought to the USPCA Animal Hospital and thanks to the skills of our staff and volunteers all ten survived and were found new homes with new and delighted owners.

36 USPCA – Update BIG D ‘Big D’ a lethargic lurcher was brought into the USPCA Animal Hospital by three young lads concerned about his state of health.

The dog had been abandoned by the roadside with no obvious means of identification so the local dog warden was advised of his whereabouts and urgent treatment began. Veterinary staff at the hospital diagnosed a number of serious problems; the creature was seriously malnourished, lifeless, suffering from a nasty skin condition and had an extremely painful injury to his front leg.

It took two months of compassion and care to restore Big D to full health and within days of him getting the Vet’s green light to leave he was re-homed to a caring family. ‘Big D’ still drops in occasionally for his visit to the groomers and the lethargy evident on his arrival has well and truly gone! TRIBUTE TO RONAN When Ronan Hughes tragically passed away at the age of 17 years his college and community friends wished to perpetuate Ronan’s memory by way of a charity fundraiser. Ronan loved our native wildlife and his friends chose the USPCA as the beneficiary of the event.

The Board of the USPCA share their sense of loss for a compassionate young man taken from us too soon.

On behalf of the needy animals whose care was provided by their efforts on behalf of Ronan we send thanks. KIDS WHO CARE The Trustees of the USPCA were delighted to be chosen by the Botanic Primary School, Belfast as their Charity of The Year. The school raised money for the USPCA by holding a successful event in the adjoining Botanic Park. It was a pleasure to get to know the kids over the year and to welcome them to the USPCA Animal Hospital for an educational visit. On behalf of the animals they assisted by their efforts we say a big heartfelt THANKYOU!

37 37 USPCA – Update Kevin Sheehy – AN Advocate for Animals I was saddened to learn of the passing of Kevin Sheehy, a long-time supporter of the USPCA. A lifelong advocate for improvements in animal welfare Kevin expressed his compassion and commitment in a practical and forthright manner. Trustees and Staff of this Charity send their sincere condolences to his family and friends. Helen L Wilson – Chairman – USPCA TRUSSELL TRUST The USPCA was invited to attend the annual Trussell Trust Regional Conference. We were asked along to speak to NI food banks about the USPCA pet food parcel project.

The Charity has been in partnership with the Trussell Trust for the past two years and we are continuing to develop the project in conjunction with the expanding Trussell Trust Network. The food parcel scheme is made possible through the generosity of our suppliers, in particular John Burns of Burns Pet Nutrition. Their generosity has underwritten the health and wellbeing of many companion animals whose owners are surviving on limited resources. EUROGROUP The USPCA was invited to become a member of the Dog and Cat Working Group and to participate in a range of campaigns whose common purpose is ‘The Advancement of Animal Welfare’.

Our membership places us in a privileged position to both contribute to and learn from Companion Animal Welfare Issues in Europe and beyond. USPCA’s Colleen Dowdall (centre) is pictured in the company of Reineke Hameleers, Eurogroup CEO and Joe Moran convenor of the Working Group at one of the regular meetings.

WILDLIFE MATTERS The work of the USPCA Animal Hospital is not limited to the care of companion animals. The treatment of injured wildlife is both a change and a challenge for our veterinarians. The list of sick and injured mammals treated and released in the past year includes, hedgehogs, deer, badgers, otters and foxes.

Avian casualties are common place with birds of prey, common garden birds and accident prone cygnets regular visitors. EXOTICS In recent years, mainly thanks to their availability by way of internet sales, exotic pets are ‘in fashion’. Unfortunately many are bought on a whim by wannabee pet owners with little or no knowledge of the specific requirements of the species and a visit to the vet inevitably follows. The commonest causes of casualties’ include heat lamp burns, fungal conditions and malnutrition.

Keeping exotics healthy requires a range of specialist skills. Anyone minded to buy an exotic should not do so on impulse. Too many of these remarkable creatures perish because of ignorance on the part of their keepers rather than intent. USPCA’s Frances Fox is pictured with a rescued swan ready for release Thank you from the USPCA Animal Hospital to Rathfriland’s benevolent bikers Year on year, regardless of the weather, they complete their charity run bringing donated food to the pet patients at the USPCA facility; much needed nutrition that sustains and gives strength to the sick and abandoned animals in its care.

The USPCA is extremely appreciative of the practical support the Rathfriland Motorcycle Club has given to the Charity over the years. We would like to thank the organisers of the run for their hard work in ensuring a bigger and better event each year which is always a fun evening for all involved.

The event also relies on the support of the local Jollyes Pet Food Stores. Thanks to Michael and Staff in Jollyes, Lurgan, Shane and Staff in Jollyes, Newry and to Alex Livingstone and his team in Jollyes, Banbridge. Helen L Wilson Chair of the Charity sends her personal thanks to the club and its sponsors.