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Welfare in the Wild

Free-living wild animals can suffer pain and distress in the same way as pets and farmed animals. So why don't they receive the same protection under UK law?

At present, people can do things to a wild animal that would be illegal if inflicted on a domestic pet or a farmed animal. For example, it is illegal to snare a dog but not a fox, to poison a cat but not a rat. Some can be shot for sport or killed by blows to the head in the name of pest control.

OneKind has a long track record of improving protection for wild animals.  We took a lead in bringing about the fox hunting ban in Scotland, we helped to secure greater regulation of snares and improved protection for seals, and we continue to stand out against the culling of hedgehogs, grey squirrels and other supposed ‘pests’.

Our Welfare in the Wild campaign has a number of strands including:

  • Continuing to press for a full ban on snares across the UK and stricter regulation of all traps.
  • Running the Snarewatch website which logs reports about snaring incidents.
  • Promoting the creation of a Wild Animal Welfare Committee to give independent advice on wild animal issues.
  • Regularly commenting on policy issues such as enforcement powers and penalties, species licences and the use of animals for sport.

Above all, we work to create a greater understanding that wild animals are sentient, like domesticated animals. And like us.

If YOU care about Welfare in the Wild, please:

  • Look out for OneKind campaign actions aimed at achieving better legislation to protect wild animals - you can sign up for our newsletter at
  • Make a donation to support our policy work and our independent field work.

OneKind believes that wild animals are not all ‘fair game’ - let’s work together to protect them.

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