Hunting foxes, deer, hares and mink are cruel sports which were banned over 10 years ago in England, Wales and Scotland. But the ban faces two threats:

  • Being repealed or weakened by the government. After the election in June this year, there will potentially be enough pro-hunting MPs to overturn the hunting ban in England and Wales for the first time since the Hunting Act came into force. We estimate that the Hunting Act 2004 so far has helped over 100,000 animals, and we estimate that preventing it's repeal or weakening could help around 10,000 animals per year.

  • Hunts continuing to chase and kill animals illegally by using false alibis (trail hunting), abusing exemptions in the law (flushing to guns; the observation and research exemption) and by exploiting poor enforcement of the law. We estimate that if the Hunting Act 2004 had been properly enforced it would have helped up to 2.8 million animals, and strengthening it until it is properly enforced could help up to 230,000 animals per year.

The League Against Cruel Sports is not aligned to any political party. For our Election Campaign 2017 we are asking all political candidates to understand that the British public do not want a return to legal hunting, and they want animal cruelty to be taken seriously.

We need your help! Please tell your candidates what you think by Voting for Vinny! It only takes a minute but you'll be able to send an email to all your local candidates to find out what they think about our key policies. 

A group of hares running

League Minifesto 2017 to Tackle Animal Persecution

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. We believe that Britain should be a place where animal welfare is taken seriously. We should be proud of how we treat animals in this country, and we should defend animals from persecution in the name of sport at home and aboard. This is our Minifesto for the 2017 election.


  • Preserve all animal protection laws and regulations, strengthening and extending them where appropriate, including the Animal Welfare Act, Hunting Act, Protection of Badgers Act, and Wildlife and Countryside Act.
  • Require public and major landowners - such as the Ministry of Defence, National Trust, and Forestry Commission - to enforce wildlife laws, including the Hunting Act. Public bodies should also cease issuing licences to so-called ‘trail hunts’, which monitoring has shown to be little more than a cover for continued illegal hunting.
  • Suspend activities of all hunt kennels pending a full independent inquiry into bovine TB and how it is spread by hunting dogs.
  • The Government should consider how to support genuine country sports over cruel bloodsports by examining a possible expansion of the Community Amateur Sports Club status to allow all sorts of non-animal activities to benefit
Key facts
  • The ban on fox hunting is supported by 84% of the British public.
  • The ban on deer hunting is supported by 88%; hare hunting/coursing by 91%
  • Projections indicate that a majority of voters in constituencies right across England and Wales support the hunting ban.
  • By a factor of 7 to 1, voters are more likely to favour a candidate who backs the ban over one who doesn’t

Stag on a sunset

‘Game’ bird shooting

  • Introduce a ban on driven grouse shooting, establish a full inquiry into the commercial ‘canned bird-shooting’ industry in order to establish the scale of its environment, economic and animal welfare impact; and stop the use of lead shot.
  • Introduce a ban on the sale, use, and manufacture of snares.
Key facts
  • 100,000 birds are shot every day during the shooting season, and 35 million non-native pheasants and red-legged partridges are released to be shot for sport every year
  • Up to three quarters of animals caught in snares are not the intended target and include hares, badgers, family pets such as cats and dogs, deer and even otters
  • 77% of the British public think that snaring should be illegal

A pheasant looking straight to the camera with a group of pheasants in the background

Dog fighting

  • Increase the current maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences, including dog fighting, to five years imprisonment, and create a statutory register of convicted animal abusers to ensure that banning orders can be enforced
  • Support research into the links between animal abuse and violence against humans.
Key Facts
  • Despite being banned nearly 200 years ago, organised dog-fighting is still taking place in Britain today
  • The current maximum sentence for dog-fighting and other animal cruelty crimes is just 6 months in England and Wales

closeup of a sad looking dog

Conservation in Britain and abroad

  • Include education about Britain’s natural heritage and wildlife in the national curriculum so that the next generation take pride and are stakeholders in protecting it. The government should also support wildlife sanctuaries - including those owned and managed by NGOs - in preserving the UK’s most important species of fauna and flora, and bring an immediate end to culling of badgers
  • The UK should take a global lead on the fight against trophy hunting. Many species including big cats, giraffes and elephants have seen dramatic population falls and are now facing the threat of extinction in the wild. The British government has previously considered banning the import of hunting trophies. It should now act decisively, including on tackling the pernicious ivory trade
Key Facts
  • 450+ hunting trophies of threatened species were imported into the UK between 2004 and 2014

A lion in the savannah looking at the camera

If you agree with our Minifesto, please sign up using the form below to receive our campaign updates and consider joining as a member

You can tell your local election candidates what you think and find out their views on our key animal welfare concerns by Voting for Vinny!

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