League Against Cruel Sports

The League Against Cruel Sports is an animal protection charity that campaigns against sports like bullfighting, fox hunting and hare coursing. It also campaigns to prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of snares, for control of greyhounds and an end to commercial game shooting and trophy hunting. [1] Famous fans include comedian Ricky Gervais, Jo Brand, John Bishop, Sir David Jason and Gemma Atkinson.

The current president is Natura Bill Oddie OBE. [2] League Vice Chairman include: Actors Annette Crosbie OBE, The Rt Hon Baroness Smith Basildon, and actor Peter Egan.


initial charter

In 1924, the league issued the following charter entitled ” what we stand for[3] [4]

  • Our principle : that it is unfair to cause suffering, either directly or indirectly, on sentient animals for the purpose of sport.
  • We condemn : Fox-hunting, -hunting otters, deer-hunting, hare hunting rabbit and hare-coursing, because they are organized forms of cruelty for fun, and therefore detrimental to the best interests of the state.
  • We support and recommend : all clean human forms of sport, such as football, cricket, golf, running, swimming, scouting, backtagnings, etc, etc.
  • We especially recommend : Drag hunting as a substitute for hunting animals and we appeal to the Hunts to adopt it. Even “hunting” Big Game with the camera as Major Dugmore and other makes.
  • Blooding Children : We protest against the insult offered in hunting circles not only to the lives of children of the nation, but for society in general, by smearing baby’s cheeks with blood from the brush or pad of a fox or other animal hunted to death, and we demand the cessation of this demoralizing practice.

We respectfully invite the religious, educational, social welfare, humanitarian and other allied agencies willing to participate, through resolutions to this end to work with us to make our demands efficiently.

Key promotions


Despite the passing of the Hunting Act 2004, there is still a very strong pro-hunting lobby, which aims to get the Hunting Act repealed. The union campaigns to ensure that the Hunting Act is preserved. League Keep Cruelty History campaign [5] started in September 2009 and focused on highlighting the position on the establishment of local candidates at the next general election. The Association runs a Wildlife Crime Watch service where the public can report suspicious activity that may be contrary to the Hunting Act or any other legislation wildlife. [6] Members of the public call the Wildlife Crime Watch line several times a day to report suspicious behavior. [7] This information is logged and further to the Police as appropriate. The Association also coordinates a network of volunteers that monitors and records the activities of hunts.


Snares are thin wire mishaps that are used to trap and suffocate the animal. Snares are set to capture all the animals are perceived as a plague or threats. The design of a snare [8] means that it can strangle his victim and can lead to extreme pain and suffering, or cause the animal dies immediately. [9]Commonly used by gamekeepers to catch foxes, rabbits and stoats, many protected mammals such as badgers [10] and otters [11] plus cattle [12] and even pets [13] are either trapped, seriously injured or killed in snares . Despite being banned in most countries in Europe, snaring still legal in Britain. The League Against Cruel Sports believes that ensnare is cruel, indiscriminate and completely unnecessary, and calls for an end to the manufacture, sale and use of snares in the UK.

Dog Fighting

Although made illegal in the UK in 1835, dogfighting is gaining ground in some communities in the UK. [14] Dogs are trained to be violent by starving and beaten. Those who seem too weak or does not show enough aggression killed. [15] If a dog that they use to fight not die of their wounds, could lose the dogs shot, drowned or hanged. [16] League campaigns to raise awareness of the prevalence of dog fighting in the United Kingdom. In April 2010, the league launched a new telephone line through which the public can report suspicious events that they believe may be related to fighting dogs. [17]


Millions game shot every year. Over 35 million pheasants and partridges 6.5 million raised for shooting in the UK each year. [18] These birds are often reared in cages, according to the union’s website. Association website also states’ woes do not end there – all kinds of wild animals suffer at the hands of the shoot, in the name of predator control. ” [19] [20] The league campaigns photography industry be brought under the Animal Welfare Act. It also leads studies to highlight what it claims is cruelty in the industry and highlights concerns about teaching children to kill for sport and recreation.


The League Against Cruel Sports is looking for a complete end to bullfighting anywhere in the world and lobbies local and regional authorities to put an end to bullfighting internationally. Association discourages large companies from associating with or sponsoring bullfighting [21] and generally increasing awareness of the cruelty and suffering involved in bullfighting. The Association also promotes the Worldwide Anti-Bullfighting Pledge, [22] , in which the signatories undertake never visit a bullfight anywhere in the world.

Racing animals

The union is not fundamentally opposed to Greyhound racing, but believes it is a much darker side to this sport. Thousands of greyhounds disappear every year, many put down, others are sent with a bullet in the head or a brick around your neck. [23] League campaigns for a number of changes such as; independent regulation of greyhound racing industry; set-up of a single regulatory agency to establish and maintain animal welfare; and a mandatory contribution from bookmakers to finance improvements welfare. [24]


Trophy hunting is stalking and killing of wild animals for sport. The union says that this multi-pound international industry causing an irreversible decline in some of the world’s most endangered species and campaigns to see it abolished. The Association focuses on exposing British travel companies that promote trophy hunting. The union has also conducted a number of investigations of trophy hunting around the world. [25]


  • 1923 – The Association began in Morden, (now a suburb of London) by Henry Amos took up a protest against rabbit coursing; He was successful in motivating support and managed to achieve a ban. This encouraged him to organize resistance to other forms of blood sports, and so, along with Ernest Bell, he established the Association for the prohibition of cruel sports. Although many blood sports like bull, bear and badger baiting and cock fighting are already prohibited at the time, animal protection laws apply only to domestic and captive animals. With RSPCA unwilling to take action against hunting, Amos and Bell identified a clear need for an organization that would campaign against what it classified as cruel sport.
  • 1927 – The organization had 1,000 members. [26]
  • 1932 – Bell left the organization because of a difference in tactics. He went on to found the National Association for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (NSACS).
  • 1948 – Actress Yvonne Arnaud became the union’s president until 1951. [27]
  • 1960 – League patrons, Sir Patrick Moore, introduced an anti-hunting movement to the RSPCA’s annual meeting but it was defeated. [27]
  • 1967 – Reverend Lord Donald Soper became chairman of the league position for 30 years, until his death in 1997.
  • 1975 – An anti-hare coursing Bill, with the support of the union, passed by the Lower House, but failed in the House of Lords.
  • 1978 – The Association helped establish legal protection of the otter, which numbers were in decline, by making it illegal to kill them.
  • 1989 – As part of a campaign “Safe Paving”, joined the league forces with the RSPCA, WWF, RSNC and NFBG to push for further protection for badgers. The previous legislation covered the actual animals, but not the street stone, which was said to be still destroyed. [28]

In 1999, the league Douglas Batchelor as Chief Executive, with a mandate to modernize the organization and achieve the long sought legislation on hunting and coursing for sport. Douglas Candidate light was on farms and property management, business consultancy and IT systems and services for agriculture. The union committee’s decision to the rural issue, and rural experience to the campaign proved to be crucial in the run-up to the eventual passage of the legislation on hunting and coursing in Scotland and in England and Wales.

The union worked with SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals) in Scotland along with IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare) to help MSPs to table a Private Members Bill to ban hunting and coursing in Scotland for sports. The bill became law in 2002.

The union worked with the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) and by IFAW in England and Wales to secure passage of the Hunting Act through Parliament in 2004. The campaign has been questioned under the Rural Alliance and the Middle East set group that challenged it at every opportunity in Parliament, in the house and in the court, lost on each occasion.

  • 2005 – With the introduction of the Hunting Act, hare coursing, fox hunting, deer hunting and hare hunting with dogs became illegal in England and Wales. “We are very pleased that 80 years of peaceful, legal campaign has produced results and that hunters will not be allowed to inflict suffering on wild mammals for their entertainment,” a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports BBC News. [29]
  • 2006 – A hunter with Exmoor Foxhounds, was found guilty of illegal hunting foxes with dogs in a private prosecution taken out of the league. (In 2009 the hunter of Appeal confirmed the High Court, and the Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to challenge that judgment.) The union continued to monitor the hunt, so that evidence of law breaking can be brought before the Magistrates’ Courts. [30] [31]
  • 2007 – A second successful prosecution was brought by the league against two members of the Quantock Stag Hounds after they were filmed chasing a deer for more than an hour. [32]
  • 2008 – the league is successful in one third of the Hunting Act private prosecution. [33] The League moved from London to new offices in Godalming. [34]
  • 2009 – announced a new campaign against dog fighting, my news reports that there is an increase in dog fighting in London.
  • 2010 – the league changing its name and launching a new image and new logo “to better equip [the] campaign challenges.”
  • 2011 – Joe Duckworth was appointed CEO after Douglas Batchelor retired. Joe, who has a long and distinguished background in public service, appointed through an open recruitment and selection process.
  • 2014 Association celebrates 90 years of campaigns against animal cruelty in the name of sport. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that there have been 341 convictions under the Hunting Act 2004. [35]
  • 2015 Rachel Newman appointed interim CEO after Mr. Duckworth resignation after 4 years. Ms. Newman, a lawyer by profession, has been with the League for nine years and was previously a lawyer and head of the prosecution by the RSPCA for 13 years.
  • The union appointed Climate Group Internal Communications Director Eduardo Gonçalves CEO. [36] Gonçalves has over 20 years experience in communications for a number of government agencies and non-governmental organizations worldwide.


The union began buying land in 1959 to provide a refuge for hunted animals. Concentrated around Exmoor and the Quantock Hills in the West Country, the union at one time owned about 40 nature reserves, the first that established the Baron Down, near Dulverton. [37] In 2002, before the accusations of the hunt supporters and the British Deer Society of bad practices in wildlife management. [38] A League spokesman said: “With its close links to sports organizations, it is no surprise for the league that BDS has chosen on behalf of its members to attack an organization that does not support its principle of management killing.” [38] Year 2005 the league admitted that a part of Baron Down deer infected with bovine tuberculosis and agreed to stop feeding the deer herd in winter to reduce the total number. [39]

New activities

The Association supported the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act, adopted in 2002 by the Scottish Parliament, and the Hunting Act of 2004. Both laws make it illegal to hunt the mammals with more than two dogs, but allow the use of two dogs (England) or a pack of dogs (Scotland) to flush an animal out of its lair to be shot. [40] Both laws permit the use of a terrier at a time underground to flush a fox to be shot, if the owner of the terriers have written permission from the land owner or occupier to reduce fox populations in order to prevent or reduce serious damage to game birds or wild birds are kept on the ground. Hunting Act requires terrier is equipped with an electronic locating collar. [41]

The union is currently campaigning against the commercial rearing of non-indigenous wild shooting, and against hunting as it considers continue to chase wild mammals in breach of the ban in 2004.

The campaigns also to extend the hunting law from Scotland, England and Wales to Northern Ireland. Between 2006 and 2008, successfully completed the private prosecution against four officials hunt under the Hunting Act, because the police would not take action, and claimed that this showed that the Hunting Act was clear in its meaning. [42] [43] [44] The first prosecution led to a conviction, but this was changed on appeal, [45] and other convictions were confirmed in the Crown Court. [46]


In the late 1980s, League chief executive Richard Course fired from League after he uttered deviating from the union’s behalf. He had begun to spend time with the mounted fox hunting as an outgrowth of his work. After a time to talk to professional wildlife managers and hunt supporters, he concluded that: “I think it is disgusting that some people will kill another living being for recreational purposes”, but said that the dogs easily outpace the fox within a minute or two and kill it within a second or two, and that is how the fox is “completely irrelevant” to animal welfare. Richard Course has since denied that he supported the hunt as a humane method of slaughter foxes. James Barrington, a former hunt Saboteur assumed ago Course position in the League. Barrington later resigned stating that he concluded that an absolute ban on hunting was not in the best interest of the welfare of the animals; He later joined the Countryside Alliance as an animal welfare consultant. [47]Barrington admits that he does not fully understand the game and could therefore not entirely condemn it.

Policy links

Association charity is politically neutral. Complaints by opponents attacking the league neutrality have all dismissed by the Charity Commission. Several League staff previously had political connections. Former President Joe Duckworth is a former trade union leader. Former CEO Douglas Batchelor was once a liberal. Working up and ex hunt saboteur Chris Williamson is a member of the board League Against Cruel Sports (2013) board, while several other board members are Labour Party members. Lorraine Platt, organizer of the “Conservatives Against Fox Hunting”, is a member of the Conservative Party. Vice Chairman include the Labour politician Robert Evans and Kerry McCarthy. Former President Professor John Cooper QC, once stood as a Labour candidate.


  1. Jump up ^ League campaigns League Against Cruel Sports, Retrieved 09/28/07
  2. Hoppa upp^ http://www.league.org.uk/content/347/Board-of-Trustees
  3. Jump up ^ Archives in London and the M25 områdetHämtad 03/28/08
  4. Jump up ^ Original Declaration of Principles League Against Cruel Sports, Retrieved 28/03/08
  5. Jump up ^ “Keep Cruelty History website”
  6. Jump up ^ “League Against Cruel Sports website”
  7. Jump up ^ “League Against Cruel Sports website”
  8. Jump up ^ “Types of snare”
  9. Jump up ^ “The case for a ban on snares of the National Federation of Badger Groups” p6
  10. Jump up ^ “Badger Kid found the noose”
  11. Jump up ^ “Otter” terrible “imminent death”
  12. Jump up ^ “snaring in Scotland: A Scottish SPCA survey of suffering” P2-3
  13. Jump up ^ “Cat maimed in illegal trap”
  14. Jump up ^ “New RSPCA figures show the shocking rise of dog fighting in our streets”
  15. Hoppa upp^ http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/dog-fighting/dog-fighting-faq.htmlASPCA Dog Fighting FAQ
  16. Jump up ^ “Panorama: Undercover dogfighting investigation”
  17. Jump up ^ “dog fighting Crime Watch”
  18. Hoppa upp^ “The Game Drain, Animal Aid rapport” p2
  19. Jump up ^ “League Against Cruel Sports website”
  20. Jump up ^ Robinson, Peter: “Pheasant shooting in the UK: Sports and Industry in the 21st Century” p9
  21. Jump up ^ “League Against Cruel Sports website”
  22. Jump up ^ “League Against Cruel Sports website”
  23. Jump up ^ “National Assembly for Wales, the All Party Group for Animal Welfare: The fate of racing greyhounds and working Lurchers in Wales”
  24. Jump up ^ “League Against Cruel Sports website”
  25. Jump up ^ “League Against Cruel Sports website”
  26. Jump up ^ 1927: The union had 1,000 members League Against Cruel Sports, Retrieved 09/28/07
  27. ^ Jump up to: ab develop campaigns League Against Cruel Sports, Retrieved 29/09/07
  28. Jump up ^ Legislative victories League Against Cruel Sports, Retrieved 11/02/07
  29. Jump up ^ Prohibition of hunting shall enter into force on the BBC, retrieved 3/5/08
  30. Jump up ^ Huntsman guilty of breaking ban the BBC. retrieved 03/28/08
  31. Jump up ^ “Prosecutors drop hunter appeal”. BBC News Online. 4 March 2009. Pulled nine May 2009.
  32. Jump up ^ Deer hunts in danger couple found guilty of flushing out with dogs Guardian, retrieved 5/3/08
  33. Jump up ^ “Mine Harriers duo admit Hunting Act offense”. Horse and Hound. 19 Jul 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  34. Jump up ^ ” ” League new headquarters ”. League.org.uk. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
  35. Jump up ^ Hunting Act: the most successful wild animal welfare legislation – League Against Cruel Sports
  36. Jump up ^ “new era for the League Against Cruel Sports CEO Eduardo Gonçalves takes the helm – League Against Cruel Sports.” www.league.org.uk. Retrieved twelve September, 2016.
  37. Jump up ^ League Sanctuaries League Against Cruel Sports, Retrieved 03/28/08
  38. ^ Jump up to: ab Deer society presses for investigation sanctuary Telegraph, retrieved 2/11/07
  39. Jump up ^ Stag stabbed to death on deer sanctuary of The Times, Retrieved 02/11/07
  40. Jump up ^ Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, HMSO, retrieved 3/28/08
  41. Jump up ^ Code of Practice for hunting with dogs underground Retrieved 3/28/08
  42. Jump up ^ Rethink forward as huntsman is fined for breaking the ban The Guardian, retrieved 9/29/07
  43. Jump up ^ couple guilty of hunting with dogs BBC, retrieved 2/11/07
  44. Jump up ^ Guilty foundation for the pursuit couples make a deal with the League Western Daily Press, Retrieved 28/03/08
  45. Jump up ^ Huntsman conviction appeal, the BBC, retrieved 3/13/08
  46. Jump up ^ hunting duo of Appeal rejected the BBC, retrieved 2/11/07
  47. Jump up ^ Ex anti-hunt manager goes Alliance Country Alliance, retrieved 9/3/09