Animal Welfare and Blood Sports: R (Countryside Alliance) v Attorney General [2008] 1 AC 719

  • Laura Donnellan
Part of the ASSER International Sports Law Series book series (ASSER)


The appellants appealed to the then House of Lords (now the UK Supreme Court) against a decision of the Court of Appeal that the Hunting Act 2004 was neither incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights nor inconsistent with EU law. The 2004 Act prohibits the hunting with dogs of certain wild mammals, including foxes and hares. The appellants argued that the hunting ban infringed their rights under Article 8ECHR through the adverse impact the ban had on their private life, cultural lifestyle, the use of their home and loss of livelihood. They also submitted that the Hunting Act 2004 both infringed their “assembly” rights under Article 11ECHR and interfered with their “property rights” under Article 1 of protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights. They further argued that the Hunting Act subjected them to adverse treatment, on the grounds of their “other” status under Article 14ECHR in so far as they compared to those who did not wish to hunt. In addition, some of the appellants, who supplied hunting-related goods and services, contented that the Hunting Act 2004 was inconsistent with Articles 28 and 49 of the EC Treaty (now Articles 34TFEU and 56TFEU) and sought references to the European Court of Justice (now the Court of Justice of the European Union, CJEU). The House of Lords dismissed the appeal holding inter alia that the instant case was far removed from the values that Articles 8ECHR, 11ECHR and 14ECHR sought to uphold and that “no good purpose” would be served by seeking a preliminary ruling from the CJEU if the hunting restrictions could, as they thought they might, be justified on the grounds of public policy under Article 30 of the EC Treaty (now Article 36TFEU) and Article 46 of the EC Treaty (now Article 52TFEU).


Private Life European Convention Attorney General Wild Mammal Unnecessary Suffering 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Elias N (1986) An essay on sport and violence. In: Elias N, Dunning E (eds) Quest for excitement: sport and leisure in the civilizing process. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, pp 150–174Google Scholar
  2. Griffin E (2007) Blood sport hunting in Britain since 1066. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  3. Radford M (2001) Animal welfare in Britain: regulation and responsibility. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lecturer in Law, School of LawUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

Personalised recommendations