Crimewatch: how and when to report animal cruelty

The importance of reporting animal cruelty in the name of sport

Beneath the mask of entertainment there exists a world where innocent animals are subjected to unspeakable cruelty in the name of sport. From organised dog fights to fox hunting, these activities not only inflict physical pain but, in many cases, result in death.

While most people know to report general animal cruelty, such as harm or neglect to pets, to the police or the RSPCA, the insidious nature of abuse in cruel sports means the general public might not know where to turn to if they see it in progress.

However, without reporting it, those who would do harm to animals purely through sport or entertainment often go unpunished for some of the most heinous crimes against animals.

Understanding the gravity of animal cruelty through sport

Cruel sports encompass a spectrum of activities where animals are exploited for human entertainment, often resulting in unimaginable suffering.

Take, for instance, the world of dog fighting, where dogs are pitted against each other in brutal battles for the amusement of spectators. These fights are characterised by vicious attacks, severe injuries, and even death. Another example is fox hunting where packs of hounds’ chase down foxes, subjecting them to terror and, ultimately, death.

Both so-called ‘sports’ are illegal in Great Britain.

Who to report animal cruelty to and why?

The League Against Cruel Sports runs a supporter-funded Animal Crimewatch service, where we record reports made to us and pass them on, often with supporting intelligence and evidence, to police to investigate further.

Consider the case of a concerned person who witnesses an underground cockfighting ring operating in their neighbourhood. By confidentially reporting this to the League's Animal Crimewatch team, they initiate a thorough investigation into the matter, potentially leading to the arrest and prosecution of those involved. If your information directly leads to a conviction, you may be eligible for a reward to up to £1,000.

Reporting instances of animal cruelty also helps us raise awareness that such sports, though illegal, take place in Britain today.

You can report animal abuse confidentially in the name of ‘sport’ to the League’s Animal Crimewatch team via phone on 0300 444 1234, email or online by visiting

When should you report animal cruelty?

Please get in touch with us straight away, so we can act on your information. For example, if you stumble upon an online forum promoting an upcoming hare coursing event in your area, and let us know quickly, we can potentially act with the police to prevent the event from taking place. Remember, every moment counts in safeguarding the welfare of these vulnerable animals. Consider downloading the what3words app as this enables you to identify your exact location.

Understanding the reporting process and its impact

Once you confidentially report animal abuse in cruel sports, your information is scrutinised by the League’s intelligence team, utilising sophisticated software and undergoing strategic analysis.

The team will identify key perpetrators and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to bring them to justice. Your report serves as a catalyst for change, paving the way for stricter regulations and enhanced protection for animals.

Report Animal Abuse

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep in touch. With your permission we'll let you know the very latest news on our fast-moving campaigns, as well as appeals and other actions (such as petitions) so you can continue to help protect animals.

If you would like to know more about your data protection rights, please read our privacy policy.

© 2024 The League Against Cruel Sports. Registered charity in England and Wales (1095234) and Scotland (SC045533).
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 04037610.
Registered office: New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, GU7 1QZ, United Kingdom.