Animal Concern

Animal Concern

At a glance

Causes

  • Animals / wildlife

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain

Objectives

Evolving from the Scottish Anti-Vivisection Society established in 1876, Animal Concern is now a registered charity and campaigns on many different animal welfare issues in Scotland and beyond. Our charitable objectives are to campaign against the exploitation of animals and promote their humane treatment. Our campaigns often centre on issues which are less popular or less talked-about in mainstream discourse, but which we believe deserve our attention and concern. We have a small staff team of five who all work remotely, governed by a board of trustees who meet three times a year. Together we run campaigns with a focus on changing legislation and policy for the betterment of animal welfare.

Activities

Our current slate of campaigns includes the following:

Our primary campaigns - 

  • Prohibiting the release of sky lanterns and helium balloons in Scotland. These devices are a serious threat to animal and environmental wellbeing. With helium balloons, they can interfere with or destroy habitats if they land in the wrong place, can entangle avian wildlife and worse still, can often be mistaken for food by farm animals, who will choke upon trying to ingest them. And with sky lanterns, the best case scenario is that they litter the landscape upon landing. Wild animals have been known to get trapped inside the paper lantern. And if the lantern is still alight, the potential for damage and destruction could be catastrophic, as shown by the fires caused around the world - including at a zoo in Germany in 2020 where a dozen captive animals were killed. We are lobbying the Scottish Government to ban these devices from release on public and private land and remove the threat of these devices altogether.
  • Restricting the availability of fireworks to the general public across the UK. This is an issue that others have campaigned on in the past without much success. In Scotland, there is now new legislation which takes some small steps towards improving safety for animals and people in relation to fireworks. However, we want to see an end to private displays and remove F2 and F3 type fireworks from public sale throughout the UK. This is a year-round issue for us and on the grounds of the indescribable and occasionally fatal distress caused to animals, as well as compounding the trauma of people suffering with PTSD, and various other types of neurodivergence, polluting the atmosphere, causing spikes in anti-social behaviour, and endangering the hearing of newborn babies, we are lobbying Westminster, with the support of several MPs, to enact legislation similar to that of Australia - where fireworks are limited to public, licensed displays only. We believe this will allow the public to enjoy fireworks, but in a safer manner which is conducted by trained professionals, away from residential areas and where plenty of advance notice is given.
  • Banning the use of second generation anticoagulant rodenticides in the Scottish countryside. These pervasive poisons, which are used by farmers to control rodent populations, not only cause slow and painful deaths to mice and rats but also anything that happens to predate on them. The slow-acting toxins mean that the infected rodent can continue to live for days after ingestion, leaving opportunity for other animals, including protected species such as Golden Eagles, to consume the poison by proxy. The proliferation of these harmful chemicals throughout the food chain could have long-lasting and catastrophic consequences for the nation's wildlife. We are campaigning for a prohibition of these poisons and the promotion of other humane methods of controlling rodent populations in agricultural contexts.

Joint campaigns we work on with other animal welfare organisations - 

  • Phasing out dog racing in Scotland. We work with a coalition of charities including OneKind, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and Grey2K USA to bring about an end to greyhound racing in Scotland.
  • Tightening anti-hunting legislation in England and Wales with the League Against Cruel Sports and many others, to ban trail hunting and terrier men, and close the various loopholes in the Hunting Act 2004 which are routinely exploited by the hunting industry.
  • Calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the salmon farming industry with Animal Equality and Compassion in World Farming due to its deplorable levels of fish mortality.

Our campaigns comprise three principal strands: a ministerial approach in which we meet with politicians to work on enshrining animal protections in law, a direct line to the press through press releases, opinion pieces and letters to the editor to ensure that our issues are being discussed in mainstream media, and raising public awareness through engagement online, via social media, petitions and email campaigns, as well as in person at awareness raising events, supporting like minded groups and delivering outreach to schools. By achieving our campaign goals, we make the world a safer place for wild, farmed and companion animals, one threat at a time.

Current opportunities

West Central Scotland, G69 6AH

An opportunity for a trustee with experience of fundraising strategy to help guide our income generation activities. 

Previous placements

  • Trustee - fundraising