News Blog End of year highlights: 2022 animal welfare achievements 24-12-22 This year was filled with meaningful successes for animal welfare and we are delighted to have played our part in securing stronger protection for animals in Scotland and the UK. These are 10 of our top highlights from this year. For the foxes march In October, hundreds of you marched alongside ourselves, League Against Cruel Sports and Scottish Badgers calling for a real foxhunting and snaring ban in Scotland. Crowds marched down the Royal Mile in central Edinburgh, led by a brilliant bagpiper and our mascot Fergus the Fox, with placards, banners and costumes as we called out the cruelties of foxhunting and snaring to the watching crowds. We were delighted that Wildlife TV Presenter and Conservationist, Megan McCubbin, also joined us on the day, marching with the OneKind anti-snaring banner. We then hosted a rally outside the Scottish Parliament, where we had speeches from supportive MSPs and virtual support from celebrities Chris Packham and Peter Egan and a video from the Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs, Màiri McAllan. The day was also covered by STV News. Closure of Scotland’s last licensed greyhound track Shawfield stadium, the last licensed greyhound track in Scotland is set to be demolished following a planning application made earlier this year to demolish the stadium and repurpose the site for housing. The track never reopened following the pandemic. MSPs also debated an end to greyhound racing in the Scottish Parliament in October, with strong cross party support for a ban. We joined the demonstrations outside Parliament, alongside grassroots organisations and MSPs, during the debate. Target Zero petition hand-in We handed in our joint Target Zero petition to 10 Downing Street with Cruelty Free International, Animal Free Research UK and actor Carol Royle. The petition, which called on the UK Government to commit to a phase out of animal experimentation gathered more than 100,000 signatures and secured a debate in the UK Parliament. Scottish Government announces plans for glue trap ban At the beginning of this year, in response to a review by the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission, the Scottish Government announced its plan to ban glue traps in Scotland. This month, the Government consulted on its plans to introduce a ban on the use of glue traps by both members of the public and professional ‘pest controllers’ and the sale of rodent glue traps in Scotland. We produced a consultation response guide for our supporters, to aid them in responding in favour of the ban. Tougher fireworks legislation introduced In June, new legislation to control the sale and use of fireworks in Scotland was passed - the Fireworks (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021. These measures will likely drastically reduce the use of fireworks. The noise of fireworks can be a real source of fear and distress for animals. We have long campaigned for tighter regulations surrounding the use and sale of fireworks in Scotland and have secured media coverage by the BBC. OneKind Director debates huntswoman on STV In February, OneKind Director, Bob, appeared on STV’s Scotland Tonight to make the case for a real fox hunting ban in Scotland. Bob debated with the Huntswoman of the Lauderdale Hunt, Claire Bellamy, who does not want to see any strengthening of Scotland’s fox hunting legislation. During the debate, Bob argued that fox hunting is a cruel ‘sport’ that must end and that loopholes in the legislation are being exploited by hunts to continue much as they did before the ‘ban’. Marston’s cancels exotic animals Valentine event Pub and hotel retailer, Marston’s, cancelled a Valentine’s event featuring exotic animals at one of its pubs following a joint letter from ourselves and Born Free. A Livingston pub had planned to host a ‘Crazy Critters’ event on Valentine’s Day. An array of exotic animals were to be transported to, and displayed at, the pub, and people were even encouraged to head along and handle a meerkat. Alongside Born Free, we sent a joint letter to the CEO of Marston’s, Andrew Andrea, to highlight the animal welfare concerns of such an event and to urge him to take action on behalf of the animals and cancel the event. We are very pleased that Andrea listened to our concerns and did indeed cancel the event. Good Food Nation Bill passed We successfully secured the landmark inclusion of animal welfare in the Good Food Nation Bill, which was passed earlier this year. This means that ‘improving animal welfare’ is one of the aspects that the Ministers and public bodies must consider when preparing Good Food Nation plans. The legislation aims to ensure that the people of Scotland will have access to healthy and nutritious food, that values the workers that produce it, and which supports animal welfare and our environment. Scottish Government considers snaring ban The Scottish Government announced it would review the impact of snares in Scotland and would consider a potential ban. We recognised this as a crucial opportunity to show the Scottish Government just how many people in Scotland want a snaring ban. We launched a new campaign action, enabling supporters to send a letter to Minister for Environment and Land Reform Màiri McAllan, urging the Scottish Government to introduce a ban on the manufacture, sale and use of snares in Scotland. We are delighted that more than 1,600 of our supporters have sent a letter to the Minister. Send a letter Just earlier this month, the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission, in response to a request by the Scottish Government to provide a view on the animal welfare impact of snares, also officially recommended that snares be banned in Scotland. UK Government recognises decapod crustaceans and cephalopods as sentient The UK Government officially passed the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill. The meant that animals would once again be legally recognised as sentient and for the first time ever decapod crustaceans and cephalopods became legally recognised as sentient. The previous Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment at the time, Mairi Gougeon, confirmed that the Scottish Government was open to extending legal protection to decapod crustaceans and cephalopods. We have been working hard to ensure these animals are not only legally recognised as sentient in law, but that meaningful protections are also introduced for them. We wish to extend a huge thank you to all our of supporters who helped us to achieve these meaningful improvements for animals this year. We can't wait to work towards ending cruelty to Scotland's animals with you in 2023!