Reporting to Animal Crimewatch
How we investigate and our successes
Here at the League Against Cruel Sports, we are fully committed towards protecting animals from cruelty in the name of ‘sport’. Our supporter funded Animal Crimewatch is a function available to report cruelty to animals inflicted by ‘sport’.
When you contact us to report animal cruelty, your information could:
- Help our investigators bring offenders to justice.
- Be the all-important missing jigsaw piece to complete the picture of what’s happening.
- Provide statistical details to show the scale of the cruelty.
- Support our vital campaigning work calling for changes to the law to improve the lives of thousands of animals.
- Provide our media team with stories worthy of press interest highlighting issues to a wider audience.
Some of the animals we protect include:
- Dogs - Dog Fighting
- Cockerels – Animal Fighting
- Foxes - hunted by hounds
- Deer - hunted by hounds
- Hares - hunted by hounds and hare coursing
- Minks - hunted by hounds
- Badgers - (Baiting, digging out and sett interference)
- Partridges & Pheasants – Commercial Shooting
- Grouse – Intensive moorland & Commercial Shooting
- Snares & Traps (in relation to Commercial Shooting & hunting)
- Raptor Persecution (Trapping & poisoning)
Unfortunately, our charitable aims do not extend to matters that are not within our campaigns such as the neglect or cruelty to domestic pets or horse welfare.
Our professional Investigators
Our investigative work is carried out by a dedicated team of League investigators or highly skilled contractors. The work we undertake, can be dangerous and therefore we are unable to disclose details of our investigators to protect their safety enabling them to continue to operate in this challenging environment. Our professional investigative team will gather information, assess its value, analyse it and produce packages to support our work. This complex work can only be done with the support of suitable software solutions.
Even though the League has no regulatory powers to directly enforce the laws relating to cruelty to animals in the name of ‘sport’, we are collaborative in our approach and have the capability, knowledge and skills to prepare credible investigation and evidential packages to share with those who do have an enforcement capability.
Whilst undertaking investigations for alleged animal cruelty we will collect a variety of personal data from a number of different sources.
Your personal data will be used to assist the campaign objectives of our charity including the prevention of cruelty to animals and the pursuit of criminal convictions in relation to cruelty to animals.
Your personal data may be shared with:
- the police or other public authority to support a criminal prosecution
- other NGO’s with a prosecution capability (e.g RSPCA,SSPCA RSPB)
- other organisations when required; to comply with legal obligations
Or telephone us on 0300 444 1234
Calls cost the same as dialling a local or national telephone number.
Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is really helpful for you to provide your name and contact information so we have the opportunity to clarify the information you have provided. When we use your personal information, we will always consider if it is fair and balanced to do so and if it is within your reasonable expectations. We will balance your rights and our legitimate interests to ensure that we use your personal information in ways that are not unduly intrusive or unfair. If you do not feel comfortably in providing your information we will have to treat the information as anonymous which may reduce our ability to act on it.
We assess every report we receive, and where possible, we will progress your information into action. Empowered by knowledge and driven by compassion, your information may also be used to form statistical data; providing us with a holistic view of the scale of the cruelty.
“We treat all information seriously and you may be eligible for a REWARD of up to £1,000 for information that leads to a conviction.”"
Location location location
*As part of our Online Animal Crimewatch Form, we ask that if you use the free what3words app add in the 3 words to the form. This is not mandatory.
What3words is a free app for your mobile phone that allows you to provide and identify the exact location of the crime you are reporting by generating three simple words that are unique to a three square metre point. This helps us understand exactly where you are referring to when reporting wildlife crime incidents.
If you see something that you think is a crime you should also call the police on 101. If you don’t report it, the police won’t know it happened; and remember always ask for a reference number for adding to your report to us.
Some of our successes to help end cruelty to animals in the name of 'sports'
We are sure you will understand, but much of our investigation work is sensitive and we are not often able to explain what we are doing. But through our investigations there have been some momentous outcomes for animals persecuted in the name of ‘sport’.
- Reports into our Animal Crimewatch reporting service led to a long-term investigation over several years. We were successful in using police and the RSPCA to raid a suspected dog fighter, with numerous dogs and dog fighting equipment then seized. Five people have been charged with multiple offences, and if convicted at crown court, this could be the first time that the new powers of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act, which we led the campaign for, are used. The suspects will go on trial in March 2024.
- Animal Crimewatch information also led to an investigation into a suspected dog fighter and supplier of fighting dogs. Our intelligence package was passed to the police who raided the location in December. The suspect was arrested and nine dogs were seized. During the raid, equipment and related material associated with dog fighting were also found.
- Animal Crimewatch received a report of suspected dog fighting with groups of men being seen with large dogs in carparks in an inner city location.
Following the information, our intelligence team were able to identify those involved and the ‘breeding kennels’ associated with the dogs. The dogs were all large American XL Bullys with cropped ears and through our experience of investigating dog fighting, we made the assessment that it was not related to dog fighting. We did however have welfare concerns for the dogs, due to their cropped ears and we passed the information to the local Safer Neighbourhood police team to investigate further. We are still waiting for an update. We contacted the Animal Crimewatch caller to update them and provide some reassurance it isn’t dog fighting.
- Animal Crimewatch received a report of suspected badger baiting after the caller had seen a TikTok video posted of two dogs being set onto a badger in what looked like the back garden of the persons house. They had made a fighting pit with a low wooden fence perimeter and at least two men were watching and filming the fight.
Although the TikTok profile user tried to hide their identity, our professional intelligence team were able to make a connection to another social media profile and confirmed the identity of the badger baiter. He wasn’t located in the UK but in Southern Ireland, so our team shared our research and intelligence with the ISPCA to investigate. The caller was contacted with an update on the actions taken.
- Animal Crimewatch received a call reporting a gamekeeper who was suspected of shooting birds of prey and badgers with his licenced gamekeeper’s rifle. The intelligence team researched the gamekeeper and were able to put together a full intelligence package which was passed to the police wildlife crime officer. We are still awaiting an update on this investigation.
Posted January 2021
A report received by a member of the public to the Animal Crimewatch team stated that whilst out walking, their dog Nell was lost for several hours until it was found caught with a snare around its neck. The snare was believed to be a free running (legal snare). It had been set on land belonging to the Queen's Sandringham Estate.
- Crimewatch: Cornish hunt seen chasing a fox through a wildlife sanctuary
Posted February 2020
An Animal Crimewatch report said the Four Burrow Hunt trespassed on a Nature Reserve in the Tregavethan area of Truro, Cornwall. There were 30-40 hounds, 30 horses and riders, a quad bike and an off-road motorbike in attendance.
- Crimewatch: Dead badger found in Wiltshire with a snare round its neck
Posted July 2020
Animal Crimewatch information received about a dead badger being found in Wiltshire with a snare around its neck resulted in us working with police and other agencies to recover the badger and snare.
Posted July 2020
A large stink pit of decomposing animals was discovered in a small copse in Suffolk. This stink pit contained at least five dead foxes piled on top of a large mound of adult pheasants and other wildlife and birds.
A follow up email stated: “I want to thank both you and your team for working so hard and getting the story of me finding that terrible loss of life out there. It means so much to me to know that I am not the only one who cares and it has inspired me to keep striving forward and trying to protect our planets beautiful wildlife even more, as now I know I am not alone.”
- Crimewatch: Fox hunting brutality mapped out by the League.
Posted 10th December 2019
New figures compiled by leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports show the shocking scale of fox hunting still taking place across Britain, 14 years after it was banned.
- Campaigns and Crimewatch: Yorkshire Water commended for tightening up grouse shooting rules.
Posted 11th November 2019
Campaigning organisations Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors and the League Against Cruel Sports have welcomed a commitment from Yorkshire Water to change the way it manages its land.
- Crimewatch & Campaigns: Law needs to be strengthened
Posted 18th November 2019
Leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports is calling for political parties to commit to strengthening the law on hunting.
- Crimewatch: Ban for Dumfries man who admitted dog fighting charges
Posted 28th August 2019
Following the BBC Expose on dog fighting a collaborative investigation with the SSPCA in Scotland lead to a dog fighter being identified and convicted.
- Crimewatch & Campaigns: Calls for longer sentences
Posted 24th June 2019
Animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports with other NGO’s have collaborated to call on the Government to stand by its repeated promise to increase prison sentences for animal cruelty.
- Crimewatch: BBC Expose - Inside the illegal world of organised dogfighting
Posted 13th February 2019
A three year investigation with the BBC into an international dog fighting syndicate was uncovered and exposed with links to the UK identified.
- Crimewatch & Investigations: Conviction for animal cruelty shatters myth of trail hunting
Posted 29th March 2018
The League Against Cruel Sports investigators, using hidden cameras caught a gamekeeper for keeping a fox in cruel conditions which led to his conviction.