A huge chunk of PETA’s multi-million dollar US income is swallowed up paying staff wages, we can reveal.
Figures show its substantial war chest is fully stretched just meeting a massive $10 million annual wage bill. Million more dollars are going on legal fees, admin costs and consultancy fees as the rights group grows fat on charitable donations.
Documents show it is running up eye-watering bills for overheads largely paid for by charitable benefactors.
In 2015 the US registered charity, now the biggest animal rights group in the world, received $63 million in grants and contributions.
A staggering $10,676,326 went on wages for its army of staff. And $46,114,330 went on “functional expenses” to keep the organization going of which $1,416,417 went on legal bills and $16,053,883 were simply listed as “other” functional costs. Its “functional” expenses alone represent a huge spend swallowing up 75 per cent of the $63 million it was gifted.
The figures emerged in PETA’s 2015 US tax return.
Nearly half of the $63 million—$29 million, or 45 percent—came from six large charitable donations. Those donations boosted its income dramatically in 2015 from the $41.7 million PETA received the year before.
Its staggering wages bill has increased in just 12 months by nearly $1 million from $9,847,396 the previous year. Wages alone now account for 17 percent of the money it receives in contributions and grants.
PETA’s financial books paint a shocking picture which is likely to stun benefactors who may ask how much of their money is actually going on animal welfare.
The figures are another body blow to the controversial rights group which is already in the dock of public opinion.
It’s increasingly bizarre – and clearly expensive – publicity stunts in which it tries to woo celebrity and media attention have frequently backfired and raised eye-brows among would-be supporters. And there have been disturbing accounts of how PETA activists have been behind the death of thousands of animals in the misguided belief they are better off dead than alive if it means living in zoos or other forms of captivity.
Putting PETA’s books under the microscope also reveals in 2015 it spent $1,001,607 on travel and $4,048,350 on “postage and shipping.” And $2,284,753 went on “printing”, $1,428,358 on “media & press support.”
What the document highlights is the dramatically growing wealth of PETA—largely from charitable donations drummed up by its relentless pursuit of publicity and celebrity backers. But the press and media campaigns have also been damaging to its reputation with a growing backlash putting its practices under the spotlight.
Last year (2016) shocking new figures from the Center for Consumer Freedom revealed that 1,411 cats and dogs died in Virginia at the hands of PETA—representing 71 percent of animals that went into its care.
A 2010 inspection of animal custody records conducted also discovered that 84 percent of animals PETA “saved” were killed within 24 hours.
While people expected their hard-earned cash to be put to a good use, PETA on average killed 1,895 animals per year, believing the animals were better off dead than in captivity or unable to cope in the wild after years of captivity.
And in one of PETA’s more distasteful episodes in recent years the head of PETA Deutschland Harald Ullmann compared Jews to animals in the groups infamous ‘Holocaust campaign’.
PETA was fined €6,000 by the Stuttgart District Court on charges of ‘incitement’.
PETA repeatedly appealed this conviction but in 2010, the fine was increased to €10,000.
Ullmann caused fury when he tried to justify the controversial campaign by saying: “The victims have been exchanged. Previously it was the Jews, traveling people and today there are animals.”
And the group has regularly sparked controversy with increasingly outlandish stunts.
Early this year it was accused of plotting to post online a fake video of a cat being beaten by its owner.
A media organisation reported PETA’s dubious tactics after the activists had asked for the fake film to be posted on YouTube.
The media outfit refused and blew the whistle on PETA.
And in another stunt that went wrong its bungling activists “rescued” lobsters from a restaurant only to release them into a river which proved fats because lobsters cannot live in fresh water.
The group faced further embarrassment when they claimed a computer game was cruel to cows.
And another campaign backfired when Inuit communities in Canada protested again PETA and its threat to its traditional lifestyle by calling for seal hunting to be outlawed.
When PETA’s 68-year-old president Ingrid Newkirk stripped off to be pictured hanging with meat carcasses in a US slaughterhouse for a vegetarian campaign the reaction from the public was underwhelming.
Many asked her to put her clothes back on and said her shock tactics were old and tired.