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League Against Cruel Sports

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League Against Cruel Sports
Formation1924; 100 years ago (1924)[1]
FoundersErnest Bell, Henry B. Amos, and George Greenwood
Registration no.1095234[2]
Legal statusCharity
PurposeAnimal welfare
 United Kingdom
Bill Oddie[1]
Acting Chief Executive
Chris Luffingham[3]
Dan Norris[4]
Formerly called
League for the Prohibition of Cruel Sports

The League Against Cruel Sports, formerly known as the League for the Prohibition of Cruel Sports, is a UK-based animal welfare charity which campaigns to stop blood sports such as fox hunting, hare and deer hunting; game bird shooting; and animal fighting. The charity helped bring about the Hunting Act 2004 and Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which banned hunting with hounds in England, Wales and Scotland.


The League for the Prohibition of Cruel Sports was founded in 1924 by Ernest Bell, Henry B. Amos[5] and George Greenwood, with the support of Henry S. Salt, Edward Carpenter and George Bernard Shaw.[6] It was renamed to the League Against Cruel Sports in 1938.[6]


  • 1924 – The League was founded by Henry B. Amos to oppose rabbit coursing[7] – he was successful in achieving a ban. This resulted in the organisation expanding its remit to include other blood sports – such as fox, hare and deer hunting.
  • 1975 – A bill seeking to ban hare coursing, supported by the League, was passed through the House of Commons, but did not receive approval in the House of Lords.
  • 1978 – The League secured legal protection for otters, including a ban on hunting them. The aquatic mammal was up until that point hunted with packs of hounds, one of the reasons for their numbers declining.
  • 1992 – The League helped secure the Protection of Badgers Act, which expanded the protection of the mammals themselves to their setts. The homes of badgers are illegally targeted for several reasons, including being blocked by fox hunts to stop animals being pursued by hounds fleeing underground.
  • 2002 – Fox, hare and deer hunting and hare coursing was banned in Scotland under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which was introduced by MSPs following campaigning by the League and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2004 – Fox, hare and deer hunting and hare coursing was banned in England and Wales under the Hunting Act 2004. The legislation was introduced by MPs following campaigning by the League and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2005 – The Hunting Act 2004 came into force – making fox, hare and deer hunting and coursing illegal across England and Wales.
  • 2005 – The Waterloo Cup hare coursing competition held its final meeting at Great Altcar in Lancashire, closing after 169 years following passage of the Hunting Act.
  • 2006 – A huntsman with the Exmoor Foxhounds was found guilty of illegally hunting foxes with dogs in a private prosecution brought by LACS, but the case was overturned on appeal.[8][9]
  • 2007 – Two members of the Quantock Staghounds were successfully prosecuted by the League following chasing a deer across Exmoor.[10]
  • 2008 – Two members of the Minehead Harriers pleaded guilty to chasing a fox with a pack of hounds in a private prosecution by LACS.[11]
  • 2009 – The League announced a new campaign against dog fighting, amidst news reports that there is an increase in dog fighting in London.
  • 2014 - The League celebrates 90 years of campaigning against cruelty to animals in the name of sport. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that there have been 341 convictions under the Hunting Act 2004.
  • 2015 – Prime Minister David Cameron offered a free-vote on repealing the Hunting Act, backing down shortly afterwards following pressure form the League, MPs and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2015 – Cross-channel ferry companies stop shipping pheasants and partridges from French factory-farms to British shooting estates, following an investigation and lobbying by the League.
  • 2018Conservative Party drops its manifesto commitment to offer a free-vote on repealing the Hunting Act following pressure from the League, meaning no Westminster party any longer supports repealing the hunting ban.
  • 2018 – Scottish Government announces intention to strengthen the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which bans hunting with hounds in Scotland, following pressure from the League and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2018 – Welsh Government bans pheasant and partridge shooting on public land following campaigning and pressure from the League and Animal Aid.
  • 2018 – The Labour Party backs calls made by the League to strengthen the Hunting Act – including prison sentences for those who chase and kill wild mammals.
  • 2019University of Wales suspends pheasant shooting on its countryside campus at Gregynog Hall following campaigning by the League.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Who we are and the history of the League". League Against Cruel Sports.
  2. ^ "The League Against Cruel Sports - Charity 1095234". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  3. ^ "Meet the Senior Management Team". League Against Cruel Sports.
  4. ^ "Our Trustees". League Against Cruel Sports.
  5. ^ May, Allyson N. (2016). The Fox-Hunting Controversy, 1781–2004: Class and Cruelty. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-4094-4220-2
  6. ^ a b "The League for the Prohibition of Cruel Sports". Henry S. Salt Society. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  7. ^ "League Against Cruel Sports". AIM25.
  8. ^ "Rethink ahead as huntsman is fined for breaking ban". The Guardian. 4 August 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Huntsman conviction appeal upheld". BBC News. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Hunting duo appeal is turned down". BBC News. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2007.
  11. ^ "Minehead Harriers duo admit Hunting Act breach". Horse & Hound. 18 January 2008.

External links[edit]