Who we are Cruel sports in Wales In addition to our work with the national government in London, the League also focusses on specific animal welfare concerns in Wales. Hunting in Wales is currently banned under the 2004 Hunting Act, and we continue to work with MPs of all parties to secure and strengthen that Act. We are also working with members of the Welsh Assembly to secure a ban on snares, and we have highlighted the appalling animal welfare effects of the shooting industry in Wales Our team works closely with the Welsh government and Assembly Members, particularly concentrating on these issues related to cruel sports. Snaring in Wales As in other parts of the UK, we continue to press for a full ban on the sale, manufacture, and use of snares in Wales. The League believes snaring is a cruel, indiscriminate, ineffective and outdated method of predator control. The League believes that regulation is not working, is ineffective in addressing animal welfare concerns and the only way to address this is to completely ban the manufacture, sale and use of all snares. Snaring is a common problem in Wales, as it is elsewhere in the UK. The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) on behalf of the Welsh Government’s Natural Resources and Food department estimated that in Wales, the number of fox snares set was from 17,231 to 51,641, depending on the time of year. In 2015, the Welsh Government introduced a code of practice for the use of snares, which we believe was a futile attempt to do the right thing. The Welsh Government will be reviewing the code, and we are in discussions with the Welsh civil service as well as presenting evidence to the Welsh Assembly Environment Committee regarding their use. Shooting in Wales The League’s film ‘Gunsmoke and Mirrors’ from 2012 provided a damning insight into the reality of the shooting industry and of the suffering endured by 'game' birds. Many are reared in factory farm conditions with the sole purpose of being released as targets for commercial shoots. The birds suffer additional harm through the use of various control devices to prevent them causing injury to themselves and other birds due to their cramped and unnatural living conditions. The film includes footage shot undercover at a 'game' bird production facility in Wales. The largest raised-laying-cage operator in the UK is based in Wales, and supplies cage-bred pheasants and partridges for large commercial shoots in Somerset, Shropshire and Devon. The fact that so many 'game' birds are bred and reared in such poor conditions makes a mockery of any claims made that 'game' meat is ethical and free range. Hunting in Wales Fox hunting is still a problem in Wales, even though it is illegal. The Hunting Act passed in 2004 applies in England and Wales and makes hunting wild animals with a pack of hounds for sport illegal. Having secured the passage of the Act in 2004, we have ensured its retention by successive Governments. We retain the support of the vast majority of MPs, despite sometimes fierce opposition from a small minority of bloodsport enthusiasts. In July 2015, the Government attempted to weaken the Act by amending it through secondary legislation. Much of the support for hunting on the media focussed around hill farms in Wales, suggesting that hunting was required to control foxes which were killing lambs on the farms. However research shows that less than 2% of lamb deaths can be attributed to foxes, and League investigations have shown hunts capturing and raising foxes to be hunted, proving that the hunts are not practising ‘pest control’. The League continues to work with all political parties in Wales to increase support for the ban on hunting. We remain steadfast in our commitment to seeing the ban enforced, and making sure that all politicians know the reality of illegal hunting. How can I help? Why not set up a Supporter Group in your area and get active with other like minded people? To find out more, get in touch!