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Animal Action Education programme
Our Animal Action Education programme helps children learn and care about animals

Our Animal Action Education programme helps children learn and care about animals

Keep the seal hunt closed

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has caved to pressure from seal hunters and opened the commercial seal hunt early this year, while pups are still nursing. Between March 28 and April 7 2017, sealers will be allowed to hunt adult seals – even though the hunt has always been closed during this time to allow mothers to give birth to their pups and nurse without disruption.

Opening the annual slaughter before pups are weaned means that nursing females will be killed – and that will leave pups to starve to death.

Allowing the slaughter of animals during a critical period for nursing and reproduction is disastrous for conservation. Conservation decisions must be made using science, not based on demands from industry.

Climate change is already threatening harp seals, causing increased pup mortality and reduced reproductive rates. It is irresponsible to remove one of the only protections left for this species.

Tell Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reverse this decision and leave seal pups to nurse in peace.

A quick note from you today can help save seals. We have prepared a template email for you to send as is, or with your own respectful comments.

Ask your MP to help ban the UK ivory trade

In December 2016 the Chinese government announced plans to ban their domestic ivory trade by the end of this year. This is fantastic news for elephants, who are currently being killed for their ivory at a rate of one every 25 minutes on average.

The UK Government has previously promised a total ban on the domestic ivory trade, pledging to do so on page 55 of the Conservative Party manifesto during the general election, and Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, has also more recently renewed those promises to tackle the trade in the UK.

We need your help to encourage the government to now follow up its promises and introduce a total ban similar to that which is in place in USA and China. As long as a legal trade in ivory in the UK exists it will be used as a cover to sell illegal modern ivory and may discourage other countries from closing their domestic ivory markets.

Some people stain modern ivory in an attempt to make it appear antique, and over the years thousands of pounds worth of illegal ivory has been seized in the UK by the Police and Border Force. We need to close the antique ivory loophole and shut down this market once and for all.

Please write to your MP, and ask them to support a domestic ivory ban by adding their name to an MP’s petition (EDM 859) on the issue.

Demand greater protection for police dogs like Finn

Police dog Finn was stabbed multiple times in his head and chest while performing his duty and protecting his handler. He was badly hurt, but he survived and has just returned to work where he will continue working to protect the public.

Yet, as it stands, the law doesn’t recognise the bravery of animals like Finn. Police support animals are classed as ‘property’, meaning that people who harm them can only be charged with criminal damage, not assault, and often receive inadequate sentences.

The thousands of animals up and down the country who work in police services are far more than ‘property’. They’re intelligent, sentient, highly-trained team members, who often put their lives on the line.

We’re supporting the campaign for ‘Finn’s Law’. Join us!

We want to see:

  • Tougher sentencing for anyone found guilty of deliberately harming a police support animal.
  • Redefinition of attacks on these animals as ‘aggravated assault’ rather than ‘criminal damage’, in line with legislation around assistance dogs.

Please write to your MP, and ask him or her to get behind greater protection for police dogs and other emergency service animals.

We’ve provided a template email. Please feel free to personalise the text before you send it, but remember to keep it polite.


Last year, the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by a US trophy hunter drew the world’s attention to the reality of trophy hunting. Cecil’s 40 hours of agony was just one example of the suffering that many animals, including animals that are threatened species, have to endure to satisfy the whims of a few trophy hunters who want to add new trophies to their collections. Sadly, trophy hunting is still legal in many countries.

It is time to stop all this killing, and the best way to do this is to prevent the trophies that the hunters are so keen to acquire from entering the country where these hunters live. A ban on imports of hunting trophies could stop all this madness, so we need you to contact your MP and ask him/her to work towards such a ban in the UK. Some EU countries, such as the Netherlands, have already implemented this type of ban, and we should not be left behind.

Although currently there is not much trade of trophy-hunted threatened species in the UK compared with other countries, it could be argued that the concept of trophy hunting as we know it today was invented by the British Empire during Victorian times.

We started this, so we should lead the world in stopping it. Don’t let this continue! Say “NO!” to trophy hunting. Contact your MP asking him/her to work towards a ban on the importation of hunting trophies into the UK.

We've prepared a template e-mail for you to send, but we encourage you to personalise this copy to make it more effective. Please ensure that you are polite at all times.

End Canada’s commercial seal hunt.

It’s time for Canada’s commercial seal hunt to end.

Every spring, seal pups between 3 weeks and 3 months of age are brutally shot, clubbed and skinned. Their carcasses are left to rot on the ice or dumped into the ocean.

Seals are dying needlessly for an industry that wouldn’t exist but for government subsidies. Most of the world no longer needs or wants seals products. Still the killing continues.

Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has a historic opportunity to end the commercial seal hunt once and for all.

Please take action today to save seals.

Tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic Leblanc to develop a plan to buy out commercial sealing licenses, and end the commercial seal hunt now.

A quick note from you today can help save seals. We have prepared a template email for you to send as is, or with your own respectful comments.


Run the 2017 London Marathon for IFAW

Fundraise for IFAW

Fundraise for IFAW

Ask your MP to strengthen laws to protect puppies

The puppy trade is rife with unscrupulous breeders and dealers breeding and selling puppies solely for profit, with little or no consideration for their health or needs. Consequently, puppies from these low-welfare breeders and puppy farms often suffer from serious illness and all too commonly even an early death.

We believe that the first six to 14 weeks of a puppy’s life are its most important. It is during this early period when it learns about the world, other dog behaviour and, importantly, human behaviour. Early removal from the mother and littermates is proven to compromise welfare and that is why we’d like to see an end to third-party sales of puppies.

For optimum dog welfare protection we would like to see the amalgamation of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1991 and the Pet Animals Act 1951 within the Animal Welfare Act, so everything is clear and in one place of reference.

We’d then like to see changes made to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to include sections on better enforcement of licensed establishments and to also include a section dedicated to online classified sites selling puppies so they are more closely regulated. At the moment there is no such law whilst online platforms play such a large part in unregulated sales of puppies. A few platforms have done well to adopt minimum standards but more can be done, there are too many loopholes!

Contact your MP asking him/her to protect puppies from the cruel puppy trade by:

  1. Ending all third-party puppy sales (i.e. taking out the middle man and naturally excluding rescue shelters and assistance dogs)
  2. Introduce a better licensing system to allow full traceability when buying a dog
  3. Introduce stricter laws for online classified sites, so their ‘for sale’ adverts are more closely scrutinised

We've prepared a template e-mail for you to send, but we encourage you to personalise this copy to make it more effective. Please ensure that you are polite at all times.