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We work to expose and end the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport

What We Do

fox in ferns

The League Against Cruel Sports is a registered charity that works to expose and end the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport.

We were started by a group of people who felt strongly that cruelty inflicted in the name of sport was barbaric and upsetting, and who wanted to be a force for change.

If you feel that animals should not be used as targets, or objects to be chased or used as commodities for entertainment, then you are a supporter of the League already. We need your voice to add to the call to change, and together we can help protect animals used and abused in the name of sport.

Over nine decades of campaigning, the League has developed effective ways to thwart such sports through calling for and bringing about, legislative change; educating the general public and gaining public support for the issues at hand; and causing difficulty for the people inflicting cruelty. All these actions help animals on a day-to-day basis. But there is always more to do.

There are four key things we do

1. Expose the barbaric nature of cruel sports and the people involved, identifying what action should be taken.

People who inflict cruelty to animals in sports can be secretive. We have found that by exposing their activities the pressure from public momentum grows for current laws to be enforced or new laws developed to stop the cruelty. We do this through:

Investigations and evidence gathering
Police liaison and prosecutions
Research and reports
Gaining media coverage

Below are recent examples of cruelty the League has exposed:

The League is largely seen as the main driving force behind the hunting ban and now gathers evidence of illegal hunting which is regularly used by the police for prosecutions. Our teams work across England and Wales using various surveillance techniques and have successful contributed to a number of the convictions under the Hunting Ban by working closely with the police and Crime Prosecution Service (CPS).
The use of European Union funds being used to keep the bullfighting industry alive
The battery cage conditions endured by supposedly 'free range' pheasants
The use of snares to kill and maim foxes, badger and domestic pets in the countryside
The myths about the need for hunting animals for pest control

2. Raise awareness and campaign for change by lobbying government, politicians and businesses. This includes campaigning for new laws and helping to enforce existing laws by working with the police to bring to justice those who commit illegal acts of cruelty for sport.

The League acts as the main voice to publicly challenge those who defend animal cruelty for sport. Emotions can run high and by basing arguments on facts and acting in a lawful, measured manner we can initiate change by:

Lobbying and meeting politicians, public figures, and businesses
Public awareness-raising campaign
Gaining media coverage
Engaging in public debate

Here are some recent examples of awareness-raising and lobbying:

Publishing our response to the DEFRA report on snaring. Our 'Manifesto to End Snaring in Great Britain and Northern Ireland' was launched in Parliament, and our petition has gained over 50,000 signatures to date
Our Chief Executive argued against commercial trophy hunting on Sky News highlighting the public outcry at the killing of the legendary deer knows as the 'Exmoor Emperor'
Several major brands including British Airways, Ryanair and Watersonte's have stopped promoting bullfighting following League pressure
The League is recognised as a key organisation that lobbied politicians to gain the ban on hunting, and the defence and enforcement of the Hunting Act 2004 remains a key part of our work. The Act is a central piece of wildlife legislation, and has impact in terms of the prerception of animals and their welfare across the globe

3. We help people whose lives are being detrimentally affected by cruel sports and associated wildlife crime.

The League is contacted every day by people who want to know how they can help protect animals by taking action on cruel sports. This can range from wanting to stop hunters going across their land, reporting wildlife crime or an illegal hunt, to knowing what they can do to stop dog fighting in their area - and more. We can help by:

Offering advice and support
Acting as an intermediary with the authorities and using our expertise to get results

Some recent examples of successes include:

A tenfold increase in wildlife crime being recorded against previous year (2011/12 vs 2012/13) from intelligence compiled by our Wildlife Crimewatch service. Our Wildlife Crimewatch phone line (01483 361 108) allows people to report crime anonymously and get impartial advice.
Contacting Local Authorities to check their policy on snaring, and asking them to adopt a 'no snare' policy
Helping home owners deal effectively with hunting and shooting on their land, and to deal with incidents of 'hunt havoc' were the activities of hunting in the area has a detrimental impact on local communities, and the individuals who live there

4. Hold sanctuary land in heavily hunted areas to frustrate the perpetrators of cruelty and help protect animals who seek refuge on our land. We also hold the sporting rights to prevent cruel sports on land previously held.

Traditionally a successful tactic to thwart hunting activity has been to buy land to interrupt major hunting and shooting areas, so ensuring that it was a sanctuary for wildlife. Since the Hunting Act 2004 we have changed the balance of our land holding, as the need to 'break up' hunting land should be much reduced and the resources can be better deployed elsewhere. We continue to manage key sections of land, and where land has been sold we strategically hold the 'sporting rights' to ensure cruel sports are still not allowed on the land.

Our Sanctuaries are monitored by our staff so that we can:

Maintain safe havens for the myriad wildlife that lives there
Monitor the adjacent areas for illegal hunting for sport