Firstly, I would like to start by saying thank you for your unwavering support to OneKind. I know I say it often but it’s true – we could not continue our work to protect animals without you.

As I sat down to write this, I have been reflecting on recent successes. Whilst these are achievements to celebrate, we mustn’t become complacent. There are still millions of animals suffering and it’s our duty to continue advocating on their behalf, which we can only continue doing with you beside us. That’s why I’m writing to urgently ask for your help today.


OneKind snares demo outside Scottish Parliament in 2008.

Snares have long been symbols of cruelty, causing immense suffering to any animal unfortunate enough to be caught in one. The team and I are absolutely delighted that the Scottish Government has finally banned the use of snares in Scotland. This truly is a landmark moment as we have been campaigning for a ban on their use for decades, and it’s been a hard-fought battle at times. You, and all our supporters, have been crucial in achieving this by demonstrating the public demand for an end to these cruel, archaic traps. Under the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill, which Parliament just passed, it will become an offence to use a snare to trap a wild animal, or in any way that is likely to injure a wild animal. The Bill also  banned the use of glue traps, another long-fought campaign, granted additional powers to the Scottish SPCA to aid in tackling wildlife crime in Scotland, and introduced a licensing scheme for grouse shooting.

Snares have been used primarily to kill foxes to protect birds such as grouse and pheasants, so there is a surplus of these birds for people to shoot for “leisure”. However, as we have continuously pointed out, snares are indiscriminate and often trap, injure and kill a wide range of non-targeted species including deer, badgers and even companion animals, such as cats and dogs. Snares cause immense physical and psychological harm to animals, targeted species or not. This victory belongs to all of us who have tirelessly campaigned for justice for animals.

However, our work does not stop here. Our focus must now shift to enforcement and ensuring the effectiveness of this legislation.

Fox hunting

Fox in field looking at camera.

Last year, we were delighted with the news that the Scottish Government finally ended the “sport” of fox hunting through the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act. Under the new legislation, there is now a two-dog limit, effectively putting an end to fox hunting packs. The Act also banned trail hunting, which has been used as a smokescreen to allow fox hunting to continue in England.

We’ve been campaigning for decades for a real fox hunting ban and were delighted to be able to say that January 24th was the day the “sport”  of fox hunting was finally consigned to the history books. Scotland now has the most robust law on hunting with dogs in the UK, but our work is far from over. With your help, OneKind alongside other organisations will be working to ensure the ban is watertight and monitoring hunts more closely to ensure compliance with the law.

Dog Racing in Scotland

End dog racing in Scotland projection on McLennan arch in Glasgow.

Last year we joined forces with 8 other organisations to coordinate the Unbound the Greyhound coalition, with the aim of ending dog racing in Scotland. The dog racing industry is rife with welfare issues such as deaths, injuries and doping and has no place in a modern Scotland. Scotland’s greyhound racing industry is on its last legs with just one unlicensed track remaining and we are determined to end it for good.

Through our collaborative campaign, we ran bus stop adverts and projected onto Glasgow’s former racing track, Shawfield, below Edinburgh Castle and other city centre buildings. This created powerful imagery to raise public awareness and launched our open letter to the Scottish Government.

You helped us reach an incredible 22,655 signatures on our open letter and many of you responded to the separate Scottish Government licensing consultation saying you support a phase out of greyhound racing instead. You have shown overwhelming support to end this cruel industry.  At the start of March, we handed in our open letter to the Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity, Jim Fairlie, for consideration, alongside coalition members and supportive MSPs. Mark Ruskell MSP has also launched a consultation for the Proposed Prohibition of Greyhound Racing (Scotland) Bill, which proposes to ban greyhound racing in Scotland. OneKind will continue campaigning and encourage our supporters to support the pledge. We truly believe that with determination and persistence, together we can put an end to the suffering of dogs used for entertainment on racing tracks.

Stand Up for Pigs

Sow lying in a farrowing crate.

At the start of 2024, we launched our new Stand Up for Pigs campaign. Across the UK, pigs in farrowing crates and egg-laying hens in “enriched” cages spend their lives, or significant periods of their lives, confined in tiny cages. 

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on phasing out cages for laying hens and gamebirds. However, the consultation does not include farrowing crates for mother pigs, despite their 2021-2022 Programme for Government commitment to do so. We are campaigning for the Scottish Government to also consult on a phase out of farrowing crates as soon as possible.

A pregnant pig will be placed in a farrowing crate a week before her due date, and she will remain there with her piglets until they are taken from her  at around 4 weeks. A sow will suffer tremendously in these confining crates. She is unable to turn around or move beyond lying down and standing up, as the crate is barely bigger than her own body. She cannot express her natural maternal behaviour such as nest building, nor interact with or care for her piglets (beyond allowing them to suckle through bars). She may also get painful sores from lying on a hard surface and cannot do much at all, except the bare minimum for survival.

We know the majority of Scots support an end to the use of farrowing crates and 63% support the government assisting farmers to move to cage-free methods.

We must hold the Scottish Government accountable. While they have confirmed, in response to our Stand Up for Pigs campaign, that they are committed to consulting on a phase out to farrowing crates, they have not provided a timeframe. Every animal is a living being with their own personality and needs. Pigs are extremely intelligent, sociable, and friendly, very similar to dogs. Could you imagine keeping your dog in a cage so small that she couldn’t turn around? Farmed animals deserve the same consideration we give our beloved companions. The very least we can do is stop confining them to cages.

We have been encouraging supporters to use our template to send a letter to the Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity, Jim Fairlie, urging the Government to also consult on phasing out farrowing crates. The team and I will be pushing this hard in 2024 as we cannot allow such deprivation to be tolerated in the 21st century. I know we can count on you to be by our side.

Positive list – exotic pets

Pet parrots in a cage.

The conditions in which many exotic species are kept as companions are far removed from their natural environment and it is very difficult to provide properly for their welfare. The fashion for acquiring increasingly unusual companions has led to an increase in the numbers of animals being kept in inappropriate conditions. Iguanas, turtles and terrapins, chipmunks, snakes, primates and parrots (to name but a few) all have very specialist needs which are difficult for private owners to meet. Exotic animals are sold in pet shops and online. A OneKind investigation in 2016 found over 1000 exotic animals advertised online in Scotland over a six-month period.

OneKind supports the introduction of legislation using a positive list approach, providing a concise list or lists of animals that may be kept, based on an independent assessment of their suitability to be kept as companions.

This year, we will be researching and investigating the trade in, and keeping of, exotic species, and creating a campaign to tackle both the supply and demand of these animals. We strongly believe that only species whose needs can fully be met in a home environment should be kept as companions. We will keep you informed as we progress.

We really are incredibly grateful for everything you do to help create a kinder world for animals. The OneKind team are determined to achieve even more successes for animals this year, but we cannot do it alone.  None of the achievements I have outlined today would have been possible without your generosity and commitment. OneKind must raise £300,000 each year to maintain our current work for animals. Your donations fuel our campaigns, amplify animals’ voices and drive positive change for animals across Scotland and beyond.

Will you help us continue the fight for animals in 2024? Your donation today could help further all the work I’ve outlined today, and more.

Thank you as always for your continued support.