Responding to the Law Commission’s report and draft bill on the UK’s wildlife legislation, Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports said: 

“The League Against Cruel Sports believes that the framework of this report is flawed, because priority is given to wildlife exploitation – not protection.

“It is obvious from this report – and very disappointing - that the Law Commission regards wildlife primarily in terms of control and management, specifically to protect social and economic interests.  For example, the right to exploit animals for profit or leisure – that is, activities like game shooting – is considered inviolable.

“Can it be right that it will be even easier for criminals to get away with persecuting animals through the removal of the ‘reckless’ clause?  Shouldn’t employers and landowners bear some responsibility for wildlife crime carried out on their property through ‘vicarious liability’?

This is a rare and golden opportunity for wildlife protection laws to be improved, so it is really important that the government gets it right first time. 

“We are confident that they will want to reflect the will of the vast majority of the British public, who want wildlife protected.  We look forward to working with Defra to ensure that evidence-based measures are put in place so that the protection of wildlife – not profit - is given priority.”