The UK Parliament is the elected body which can make laws for the whole of the country or its individual nations, and is the only parliament with the power to legislate on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. Everyone is represented by one locally elected Member of Parliament (MP) who can play an important role in shaping the law and holding the government to account.

Why we want to change the law

We're focused on ensuring that your voice is heard in Westminster. Too often, animals persecuted in the name of ‘sport’ don’t get the protection you know they need. An important way of preventing animal abuse is by outlawing cruel practices and making sure the rules can be properly enforced. As a campaigning charity, we work with politicians across the UK to raise awareness, influence policy and secure stronger animal welfare legislation.

This includes providing MPs with detailed briefings on topics such as hunting, shooting and snaring, persuading them ahead of crucial votes in Parliament, and holding drop-in events to discuss issues with politicians face-to-face. It can also involve drafting proposed legislation, advising officials on animal welfare policy, enabling MPs to table probing questions to the government and assisting our supporters in writing to their representatives on behalf of animals.

Key areas of our work

  • Strengthen the Hunting Act 2004 including by:

Ending the smokescreen of trail hunting

Closing loopholes and removing exemptions in the law used as a cover for illegal hunting including those which enable hunts to claim to be conducting scientific research, carry birds of prey as a prop to conceal their real activity and send dogs underground to corner trapped foxes

Including the possibility of custodial sentences

  • Encourage the UK government to follow the lead of Wales in banning cruel snares
  • Ensure the full implementation and enforcement of animal welfare legislation
    • Expand the boxes below to find out more.

    • The League and the RSPCA jointly led a coalition of 11 charities that campaigned for this bill making the issue directly to 10 Downing Street. This landmark law increased the maximum sentence allowed for animal cruelty offences from six months to five years.

    • As part of a large coalition, we supported the recognition of animals as sentient beings providing them with greater protections and for the first time, introducing a “sentience coalition” to ensure new laws and Government policies do not infringe on the sentience of living beings.

    • As part of its review of sentencing guidelines following the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act, the Sentencing Council of England and Wales issued new guidelines for animal cruelty offences. This saw an increase in proposed sentences crediting the League for its work in making the case for tougher sentences.

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    We’re focusing on being the voice for animals in Westminster, but our impact is strongest with your support. MPs tell us how much they value hearing from their constituents. With a general election just around the corner, you can write to yours today to ensure they know how strongly you feel about animal welfare.

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    © 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.