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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 02:31 GMT
Charity rejects 30,000 donation
Barry Atkinson
Barry Atkinson flushed out birds to raise money
A cancer charity has rejected a 30,000 donation over animal welfare concerns.

Barry Atkinson carried out a record 148 days beating - or flushing out birds - at grouse, partridge and pheasant shoots.

The 61-year-old, who lives near Newark in Nottinghamshire, said he was appalled the donation had been rejected by the Institute of Cancer Research.

The charity said it recognised the need to minimise pain and suffering in animals, so could not accept the money.

We advised Mr Atkinson of our position before he started fundraising
Institute of Cancer Research

Mr Atkinson said: "I am absolutely dismayed and disgusted really.

"It's not so much I am insulted on a personal level...it's because I represent so many people who have generated so much goodwill."

Alistair Balmain, from Shooting Times magazine, said: "I think this is case of a complete misunderstanding and actually a total over-reaction.

"We are talking about fundraising from decent honest people and to reject that is quite frankly a snub."

'Minimise pain'

Mr Atkinson had been raising the money for the charity as his own spaniel, Spider, is recovering from a cancerous tumour.

The donation is now likely to be offered to another charity.

In a statement the Institute of Cancer Research told the BBC: "The Institute recognises the necessity of minimising pain and suffering to animals.

"Consequently we advised Mr Atkinson of our position before he started fundraising.

"We have subsequently discovered that we accepted a donation which will be returned; the further donation will not be accepted."

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