Advocates for Animals – the UK’s first animal protection law firm – and a coalition of over 30 animal organisations, including Viva!, 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 – but there’s still time to stop it in its tracks.
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 them altogether if they’re deemed to have a “relevant” noise impact on people nearby – essentially an inherent characteristic of a protest.
“This bill could impede efforts by animal protection groups to prevent suffering by removing the fundamental safeguard of sharing what is going on.”
– Edie Bowles, founder of Advocates for Animals
Power to the People
While change for animals never comes quickly enough, society is evolving and waking up to the idea that animals are not things but living, feeling beings like us. As a result, we’ve seen legislation banning fox hunting and wild-animal circuses, hundreds of fashion labels have dropped fur and angora, and thousands of companies have committed to never testing their cosmetic products on animals.
How have we seen this remarkable shift towards animal rights? Well, like most social progress, it didn’t come about by quietly calling for change but by bold public displays and protests.
And so long as animals are still skinned for frivolous fashion accessories, tormented in the name of “sport” or “entertainment,” or caged in laboratories or on farms, we must keep protesting. Getting animal issues into the public eye is the only way we can stop abuse.
What You Can Do
Please contact your MP and share your concerns that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 could impede efforts by animal protection groups – and other social justice groups – to prevent suffering. Ask your MP to vote against the current version of the bill.
Contact Your MP