The head of Northern Ireland’s largest animal welfare charity has been dismissed on grounds of misconduct.
Stephen Philpott, the high profile chief executive of the USPCA, had been suspended since March.
In a statement, the USPCA board said the dismissal related to aspects of Mr Philpott’s management of the organisation and followed a review by an independent consultant, a full disciplinary hearing and exhaustive appeal process.
An interim manager has been in place for a number of months.
USPCA chairman Helen Wilson said the day-to-day work of the charity continued and said staff had “worked tirelessly to ensure that the service to animals has remained exemplary during a very difficult time”.
Mr Philpott was particularly outspoken on a number of animal welfare issues including dog fighting and badger baiting.