A new image for the League

From Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive.

It may sound like a blinding flash of the obvious, but an organisation seeking public support needs a clear and visual public identity with which people can identify.

The League in recent years has moved on from just campaigning on hunting and coursing to campaigning on bull fighting, dog fighting, snares and shooting as well as on trophy hunting and racing animals. Our old logo has begun to look a bit dated and for non members who don’t really know what we stand for and what we campaign on, it has become confusing, comprising as it does the three hunted animals.

During the last year we have been asking people, a representative sample of members, supporters and potential members and supporters what they thought about the League identity and also about our logo. As a result of all that research we have found that one of the biggest barriers to moving forward and gaining more members and supporters has been the public perception that we are just the ‘League Against Hunting’ rather than the League Against Cruel Sports. The research also showed that non-members had some perception that the League was a group of animal rights activists prepared to break the law.

We all know that the vast majority of the public are opposed to ‘sports’ which focus on live animals as targets or quarry. Our research also told us that people don’t just want us to focus on cruel sports that should be made crimes, they also wanted us to turn our attention to ensuring that existing legislation – such as the 1835 Act which banned dog fighting, and the Hunting Act – is properly enforced.

The research also identified the fact that while many members of the public have a vague idea what the League campaigns for, albeit often an inaccurate one, they didn’t really have any idea what and who the League actually is.

The League at heart is and always has been a group of people with a shared belief that it is morally and ethically wrong to cause animal suffering for sport. That shared belief is what binds members together and what makes them join and support the League. The League is values driven. It is a registered charity independent of political parties which does its best to promote and secure change in human attitudes and behaviour that will meet its charitable objects and as a result will reduce cruelty to animals for sport.

To make the best we can of the raised media profile that the League will inevitably get in the run up to the general election and any discussion on the future of the Hunting Act, we need to get the new and real image of what the League is and what it stands for across to as wide an audience as possible. The additional media coverage in the coming year will help with this.

As the fifth anniversary of the Hunting Act approaches we plan to launch our new logo. That logo is based around a bloodied and broken heart shaped paw symbolising the fact that we care about cruelty to animals. The red blooded colouring symbolises where we stand on bloodsports and the damage and harm that they cause to animals.

The next issue of Campaign Update will carry the new identity and our fantastic new website will go live later this month. The changes are being phased in as we run out of old leaflets and stationery, so we certainly aren’t wasting money in hard times.

The coming months are going to be testing for the League. The forces ranged against us are considerable and are very well funded. We need to be as strong as we can be to face the challenges ahead and to do our collective best to prevent the cruelty to and abuse of animals for sport. We need as many supporters as we can muster.

These changes are aimed at helping us to present the League as a vibrant and values-led charity, fit for purpose and understood to be worthwhile being a member and supporter of, by the millions of members of the public who already share our views and values and whose support we need in these difficult and challenging times.

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