Animal Protection Groups United Against Anti-Protest Bill

Animal Protection Groups United Against Anti-Protest Bill

London – Advocates for Animals – the UK’s first animal protection law firm – and a coalition of over 30 animal organisations have fired off a letter to policymakers urging them to vote against the current version of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021, which seeks to restrict the rights of protesters. The controversial bill was introduced in the House of Commons in March and has passed its first and second reading.

Protests are one of the most effective tools animal advocacy groups use to inform the public directly about animal mistreatment and injustice. But the proposed bill would allow law enforcement to impose stringent restrictions upon protests, such as the length and size of demonstrations, and even to ban protests altogether if they’re deemed to cause a “relevant” noise impact on people nearby – essentially an inherent characteristic of a protest.

“There are many examples of animal protection laws that have been passed as a result of various forms of protest that draw the public’s attention,” says Edie Bowles, founder of Advocates for Animals. “This bill could impede efforts by animal protection groups to prevent suffering by removing the fundamental safeguard of sharing what is going on.”

The coalition notes that some of the most progressive and widely supported animal protection legislation enacted in living memory has come as a result of peaceful public protesting, including bills to ban fox hunting, fur farming, and wild-animal circuses.

Groups that signed the letter include Animal Aid, Animal Equality UK, Compassion in World Farming, The Humane League UK, Open Cages, PETA, Surge, and Viva!

The letter is available here.

Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]