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Where we Stand

About Animal Rights UK

We are an animal rights organisation. Like many animal rights organisations we hold many stances that you would expect, however there are some issues that some animal rights supporters may not entirely agree or issues where it is important to clarify our stance on the subject.

This page will give our interpretation to what animal rights means and we will cover a few key issues that may need clarifying.


Animal Rights

Animal rights in the most part is the belief that animals should have basic rights relevant to that individual animal, For all species this means the right to live free without pain and suffering deliberately or neglectfully inflicted for the purpose of humans.

For some species their basic rights might extend beyond that according to there needs for example a dog does not need the right to vote however being a social animal it should have the right to some form of companionship and not to be kept in isolation.

Companion Animals

As a nation we love our ‘pets’ and for the most part treat them like one of the family. The concept of animal rights means that in an ideal world there would be no ownership of animals, this is why we use the term companion animals instead of pets.

As animal lovers we appreciate the joy having a companion animal can bring however there are some serious problems with the way the pet system works.

Before reaching the pet store almost all pets from rodents, fish, snakes and even dogs are farmed on an industrial scale in awful conditions that no caring person would tolerate, once the babies are old enough they are sold whilst the parents are kept to be bred from again and again until the are eventually ‘spent’ and killed.

However the conditions pets are produced in shouldn’t even need to be mentioned when there are countless homless animals dying in shelters when they could be adopted instead of brought.

What we want is for the population of pets to be reduced through spaying and neutering and for people to adopt animals from animal shelters, never from pet shops or breeders, thereby reducing suffering in the world.


Euthanasia is a sad reality caused by people who abandon animals, refuse to spey or neuter their animals, and choose pet shops and breeders instead of adopting animals from animal shelters. Animal shelters and shelter workers are stuck with the awful job of dealing with unwanted animals.

The Sad fact is until the public learn to adopt animals from shelters instead of buying from a breeder or pet shop and to speay and neuter their animals, euthanasia will regrettably exist as a necessary evil.

Free Range

‘Free range’ is a very misleading term that suggests animals living a natural lifestyle with minimal restraints on their freedom and behaviour. The conditions free-range animals can be kept in are much more confined than people would imagine. Although given more room than factory farmed animals, those reared under free-range systems can still be kept intensively in small living spaces with restricted access to the outdoors. Thousands of ‘free range’ chickens are still packed into huge windowless sheds where disease is rife and mortality rates are high. In such cramped conditions, not all birds are able to reach the exit, as they would have to fight their way to an opening. As a result, many birds never have access to an outside area. Whether in a windowless shed or out in the field, animals are subjected to painful mutilations, such as de-beaking, de-horning and tail docking.

The label ‘organic’ also implies higher welfare standards but being organic is no guarantee that the animals lived free-range. While organically-farmed and free range animals have a better quality of life than factory farmed animals, they will be subjected to the same trauma of transport to the slaughterhouse and the same terrifying, bloody death.

Halal and kosher meat

It is right to be outraged at this needless suffering of animals but it is wrong to think that stunning animals before their throats are cut renders the whole process humane. Undercover filming inside seven UK slaughterhouses, all of which stun animals, showed unbearable suffering, much of it caused by the stun process itself. Sending a bolt into the brain or trying to clamp electric tongs around the head of an animal who is moving doesn’t guarantee a swift loss of consciousness in fact it can cause additional suffering.

We cannot say whether one method is less appalling than the other. But it is clear that both methods cause terrible suffering and are wholly unnecessary and see veganism as an alternative to this suffering.

Breed Specific Legislation

Since the Lennox case there has been a growing movement against ‘Breed Specific Legislation’ (BSL). This was the case where an innocent pit bull type dog was seized and destroyed simply for being a pit bull type dog

We agree that Lennox should have been spared and that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners but is because of bad owners we cannot fully support the abolishment of BSL.

In the USA Pit Bulls are the most abused breed of dog, and it is the relentless abuse of these dogs at the hands of cruel people that motivates our efforts to stop people from bringing more pit bulls into the world to be hurt and exploited. We belive that is Pit Bulls were made legal to once again breed and own in the UK that they would likley become the next status dog, used for fighting and possibly worse.

In the UK thousands of dog are already being killed simply for not having a loving home, do we really want to add another breed to the problem?

We support any measures to save dogs under the dangerous dogs act (for example any dog found to be a banned breed should be spayed, neutered, microchipped and well trained to ensure it is safe rather than killed) or to protect owners of banned dogs who have taken steps to ensure there dog is safe to keep and unable to reproduce.