It’s almost the end of 2018 and what a year it’s been for OneKind. We held our biggest demonstration yet against fox hunting, released ground-breaking footage of mountain hare culls and launched a new campaign on salmon farming in Scotland, to name but a few of our successes.
We also worked very closely with politicians helping to secure a discussion in the Scottish Parliament on live exports and a resolution at SNP conference to introduce a policy banning these after Brexit. Other successes include securing a commitment from The Scottish Government to introduce compulsory video recording of slaughter in abattoirs, and we also saw the implementation of the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Act 2018 which bans the use of wild animals in circuses, following over a decade of campaigning by OneKind.
We’re all really looking forward to 2019 being another big year for OneKind as we continue to work hard to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals.
Read on to find out more about some of our key achievements this year.
1. We released ground-breaking footage of mountain hares
In March, we released extraordinary footage from an investigation carried out by OneKind, League Against Cruel Sports and Lush which revealed the brutal, military style mass killing of Scotland’s mountain hares on grouse moors. The shocking video, which was narrated by Chris Packham, showed large groups of armed men moving around the mountain in convoys, killing hares and filling up their pick-up trucks with dead animals as they went. Following the footage, we also launched an open letter to the Scottish Government calling for urgent action to protect Scotland’s mountain hare. So far, it’s been signed by over 18,000 people. You can add your name here if you haven’t already signed it.
2. We worked to ensure animal sentience was included in the EU Continuity Bill
We welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s unanimous support for an Amendment to the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill in March which recognised the sentience of non-human animals and the need to pay regard to their welfare. This was a clear commitment from the Scottish Parliament to maintain, and indeed, improve protection for Scotland’s animals after Brexit.
3. Hundreds of people marched For the Foxes
Around 1000 people came together in March to call for a real fox hunting ban alongside OneKind, the League Against Cruel Sports and IFAW. This was a real landmark moment for our fox hunting campaign and showed politicians that the public are overwhelmingly in favour of a real fox hunting ban. Fergus the Fox led our march down the Royal Mile while people waved placards and chanted “For the Foxes” before they congregated outside the Scottish Parliament for speeches by MSPs and the charities. The campaign also had the backing of Ricky Gervais, Bill Oddie, Chris Packham, and Peter Egan.
4. Our salmon farming campaign was launched
Scotland is the largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the EU with just over 250 Atlantic salmon farms in Scotland, although the industry is rife with disease, lice infestations, and mass mortality. That’s why we decided to make salmon farming a priority for OneKind in 2018. We released three reports, the most recent of which focused on use the use of cleaner fish and launched a petition to the Scottish Parliament with our partners Scottish Salmon Think-Tank, Save Seil Sound, and the Salmon Aquaculture Reform Network Scotland (SARNS).
5. Our guidebook to wildlife persecution in Scotland was released
We launched Lonely Scotland – a guide to hunting, trapping and wildlife persecution in Scotland in August to raise awareness of wildlife persecution, and to educate the public so they have a better understanding of the hunting and trapping activities they might encounter, and are able to identify illegal practices. The guidebook contains information on everything from fox hunting and goat stalking to material on traps and what to do if you suspect a wildlife crime. If you don’t have your own copy yet, they are still available from our online shop.
6. We took a stand against trophy hunting
We’re still shocked by the images we saw a few months ago of an American hunter posing with a number of wild animals she had killed on a shooting trip to Scotland. Not only were images alarming, but it was really upsetting to see Scotland’s animals being exploited once again in the name of sport. The story became huge thanks to social media and was picked up by press all over the world which resulted in OneKind being quoted everywhere from The Scotsman to The New York Times, as well as appearances on Sky News and BBC 1 Scotland’s Sunday Politics Show.
7. The coalition for grouse moor reform was launched
This year, we joined forces with a number of charities from the social, environmental and animal welfare sectors to call for reform of Scotland’s grouse moors. The coalition includes Common Weal, OneKind, Friends of the Earth Scotland, League Against Cruel Sports Scotland and Raptor Persecution UK. It’s a groundbreaking initiative that we hope will lay the foundations to make our vision of grouse moor reform a reality. This will not be a quick campaign for us, but it’s one that the coalition will continue to work hard on in 2019.