SPCA leader under scrutiny

Last updated 12:00 18/03/2014

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The SPCA Manawatu committee chairman has stood aside amid investigations into his treatment of a horse.

Stephen Briggs stood aside on March 5, two days after an allegation was made against him regarding the animal, SPCA Manawatu manager Danny Auger said.

He would not comment on the nature of the allegation, but did confirm it involved a horse.

Mr Briggs is also an SPCA life member.

Mr Auger said he was investigating the allegation internally on behalf of the Manawatu SPCA committee, but if committee members felt it needed to be dealt with by the national office, this would happen.

"He has stood aside while an investigation takes place to see if there is anything worth investigating.

"Steve Briggs has done the right thing in stepping aside.

"At the end of the day he's the current chairman of the SPCA and he doesn't want to be seen to be bringing the name into disrepute, and we don't want that either."

Mr Briggs had been chairman of the committee for almost two years, as well as being a life member of the SPCA.

"He's done a lot of good work", Mr Auger said.

There could be "a number of outcomes" from the investigation.

A woman who identified herself as Mr Briggs' wife said he did not wish to comment last night.

Last year, Mr Briggs successfully appealed when the Manawatu District Council classified his two rottweiler dogs as dangerous.

The dogs ran out of his Pohangina Rd property and chased two teens down the road, biting one on the back of the knee.

The council sought legal advice after Palmerston North lawyer Phillip Drummond, acting for Mr Briggs, pointed out the written accounts from the two students had not been sworn in as required, and overturned the decision.

Council environmental and support services manager Shayne Harris called the gaffe a "technical error", and the requirement to have witness accounts sworn was later written in to council procedures.

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- Manawatu Standard

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