The League is about ‘life’. Wanting a better life for animals, without the fear or pain inflicted by cruel ‘sports’. Unlike Covid-19, it’s not the case of finding some ground-breaking vaccine to prevent unnecessary deaths. For animals, all we need to do is find our collective compassion. Stopping cruel ‘sports’, or indeed other types of animal cruelty comes from a simple decision to stop. In 1969, the year of my birth, we put a man on the moon, a feat of human endeavour and collaboration that still inspires and fascinates today. So why is it, possessed as we are of intelligence and determination to do such things, that we cannot simply be civilised in our treatment of animals? To coin a phrase, ‘it’s hardly rocket science’! 

As I write, lock down is over and the Government is going to go halves with me if I eat out early in the week. ‘Eat out to Help Out’ is the catchphrase and millions will be spent on this one policy. But who is going to help persecuted animals when they need us most? Animal charities, from the largest to the smallest across the country, are already announcing closures or downsizing at a time when the demand for their services is rising. We should have had the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill passed by now, brought back in front of Parliament over a year ago by the League and ten of the other most influential animal charities. With one crisis following another, and an economic one still looming, this and other animal protection measures are going to be harder to deliver.

Whilst I can only speak for what I am responsible for –  the League and our objectives –  I am conscious the work we do will be even more important, as other voices diminish due to the situation the country is now facing. Some may see this as an opportunity to push their alternative agendas, particularly in the countryside. It is therefore vital we remain a strong defender of, and advocate for, animals. In some cases, we will be both their last defence and only hope.

I wanted to leave you with an example of what can be done by a few determined people backed by a small army of incredible supporters. In 2018, our professional investigators captured footage of the Mountain Hare Cull in Scotland. Along with One Kind, and our partners in the Revive Coalition in Scotland, we were able to mount a campaign to stop this practice. In June, the Scottish Parliament voted to ban the mass culling of Mountain Hares and tens of thousands will be saved. It is another significant win for animals, only made possible through your support. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.