Mass coalition unites for animals 21 leading animal welfare charities and campaign groups have written to all the party leaders in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, urging them to maintain the UK’s animal protection laws amid fears some of them may be scrapped after the election. They have also called on all election candidates to pledge to defend laws such as the Animal Welfare Act, Hunting Act, Protection of Badgers Act, the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and the Welfare of Farmed Animals regulations. The group goes on to ask candidates to support the introduction of an official national database of convicted animal abusers, and an increase in animal cruelty sentences to up to 5 years. In the joint letter, which is the first time so many organisations have come together at election time in this way, the 21 groups say: “We are charities and campaigners who represent the many millions of people in Britain who care about the welfare of wild, domestic and farmed animals, and who support the laws that protect them. “We are committed to ensuring that these laws are not weakened, repealed or replaced – either as a result of Brexit or by other means - but that protections are instead strengthened and extended.” Areas covered by the letter include animal cruelty, the trade in endangered species, hunting and shooting, bird and habitat protection, live transport of animals, animal experimentation, puppy farming, and animal fighting. The letter also encourages politicians to ensure that Britain takes action on issues such as trophy hunting and whaling to confirm the UK as a “world leader on animal welfare”. “All parties should pledge meaningful action to deliver on the UK’s desired identity as a world leader in animal welfare, including delivering a complete ban on the ivory and rhino horn trade, and ensuring that the global commercial whaling ban remains in place, and – critically – ensuring that promoting higher animal welfare is an essential precondition of any existing and new UK trade deals post-Brexit.” The letter concludes: “As a nation we love animals, we admire them, we care for them, and we are inspired by them. We are therefore morally and legally bound to protect them.” For a full version of the letter and more information about the coalition see www.animalprotection2017.org.uk - ENDS - Notes to Editors Please contact the League’s Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email [email protected] for any image, comment or interview requests The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).