Animal Protection Groups Unite Against Anti-Protest Bill

Over 30 animal organisations including Animal Equality UK have joined forces with Advocates for Animals, the UK’s first animal protection law firm, to urge policymakers to vote to oppose or revise a controversial anti-protest bill.

A letter signed by the groups calls on Members of Parliament and the House of Lords to vote against the current version of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021, which was introduced in March and has concerningly passed its first and second readings.

The proposed legislation would seriously restrict the rights of protesters, allowing the police to impose severe restrictions on demonstrations including their length and size, and even completely ban protests if their resulting noise would be deemed to have a “relevant” impact on people nearby.

If the bill is passed, protesters could face an up to 10 year prison sentence if their activities are judged to cause “serious annoyance or inconvenience”.

This bill could impede efforts by animal protection groups to spare suffering by removing the fundamental safeguard to share what is going on.

Edie Bowles, founder of Advocates for Animals

People power

Protests are one of the most effective tools animal advocates have to inform the public about animal exploitation and cruelty. Some of the most progressive and widely supported animal protection laws in living memory came about as a result of peaceful protesting, including bans on fur farming, fox hunting, and wild-animal circuses.

In order to end injustices we must get them into the public eye, and this is most effectively done through protests and demonstrations.

One of the biggest enemies of any social justice cause is silence. Progress rarely comes about by quietly calling for change, but instead from bold public protests and actions. This bill attempts to clamp down on a fundamental human right – the right to protest. We must do everything in our power to stop it in its tracks.

What you can do

Please contact your MP today and share your concerns that this legislation, if passed, could impede efforts by animal protection groups and other social justice movements to prevent suffering and push forward progress. Ask them to vote against the current version of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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