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League Against Cruel Sports

Liz | 13.03.2006 12:40

As one of the main anti-hunting groups in the UK, the League Against Cruel Sports is presumed to put animal welfare at the centre of it's argument against the activity. However, five people have left the organisation - two of which are chief executives - in protest at it's disgraceful behaviour.

Two Chief Executives, a Chairman, a Chief Officer and an undercover investigator have left the League opposing a ban on animal welfare grounds. Graham Sirl, James Barrington, Richard Course and Miles Cooper all realised that the company has no interest in animal welfare when running it's campaigns.

In an article published in August 2002, Mr Cooper concludes, ”That the League is responsible for briefing and guiding MPs is worrying enough, given its inability to mount well balanced argument which takes full account of the implications. More worryingly still is the prospect that this Labour Government could seriously contemplate the abolition of ‘sport’ hunting given the likely animal welfare implications and the Leagues clear long-term aim with regard to shooting.”

When describing the effect of a ban on hunting Graham Sirl wrote, in a published letter, that it “…will inevitably lead to an increase in activities such as fox, deer and hare drives. This will be nothing short of indiscriminate slaughter.”

Richard Course, in his submission to the Burns Inquiry, wrote; “The scent hunting or tracking down of fox hunting cause no stress or no trauma to the fox who must be totally unaware of this major part of the hunt. How the fox is located is totally irrelevant to animal welfare considerations. It took me ten years to realise this irrefutable fact – others will never realise it because bigotry, prejudice, narrow mindedness, class animosity and ignorance blind people to the truth.”

A ban on hunting is for animal welfare purposes? Rubbish. We know it, the League Against Cruel Sports know it and Labour MPs know it.

Comments by ex-members of the League Against Cruel Sports:

"After 13 years of discussing and debating this issue I found it impossible to ignore the truth and facts about hunting. I have come to despise the League Against Cruel Sports, even though I was its Chairman and Chief Executive, simply because these people know as well as I do that the abolition of hunting will not make any difference to the welfare of foxes, hares or deer."
Richard Course
Former Chairman and Executive Director of the League Against Cruel Sports for thirteen years. Commenting in April 1998.

"Hunting is part of the country life and destroying it will put a lot of people out of work and be worse for the animals. They will have to be shot instead - and that means many will be wounded. We kill them outright."
Liz White
Ex saboteur and former member of the League Against Cruel Sports who now hunts. 17 March 2003.

"What is often missing from the argument is a willingness to look at the full picture and to discuss the repercussions of a ban. One thing is certain: if hunting with dogs is to be proscribed, other methods to kill foxes currently in use will take its place. These methods are not all preferable to hunting as far as the suffering of animals is concerned and some will be harder, if not impossible, to bring to account."
James Barrington
Executive Director of the League Against Cruel Sports from 1988 to December 1995. Tribune - 2nd May 200.

"Take away hunting and the management system will break down. Over the years, and many meetings with landowners and others, I have come to the conclusion that in the event of a total hunt ban, the deer population will be decimated. This view is shared by many, including some who remain independent on the hunting issue."
Graham Sirl
Head of West Country Operations for the League Against Cruel Sports for nine years, and leaving in May 2001. Letter to regional press - 10th May 2001.

"I am aware that few of the total number of foxes killed each year are, in fact, accounted for by hunting with hounds, but that doesn’t make it any less a reasonable method of control. Compared with shooting, gassing and trapping – which are often indiscriminate, often inefficient and clearly detrimental to other wildlife – give me hunting any day."
Mark Halford
Ex hunt saboteur and former member of the LACS and Hunt Saboteurs Association. Daily Telegraph – 8th April 2000.

"I urge your readers to think carefully about the likely animal welfare implications of a ban on ‘sport’ hunting. For those who genuinely seek improvements all is not lost however. Indeed, by placing all hunting under the strict control of a statutory licensing system, and by amending existing legislation, it will be possible to generally improve wild mammal welfare as opposed to allowing the current situation to degenerate into chaos."
Miles Cooper
Representative and investigator for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, the League Against Cruel Sports, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Campaign for Protection of Hunted Animals for twelve years, leaving in May 2002. Letter to regional press - July 2002.