Promising news on Scotland’s fox hunting laws

Good news for foxes

The Scottish Government has announced that it intends to strengthen the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002, effectively bringing Scotland one step closer to ending fox hunting once and for all. 

This is a promising development for foxes. Groups opposed to fox hunting have known for a long time that the current legislation isn’t strong enough, and that some hunts have still been getting away with using packs of dogs to chase and kill foxes.

The Government’s announcement follows a major review by Lord Bonomy who has recommended significant changes to the law to make it easier to enforce. These include independent monitoring of hunts, new codes of practice and publishing key names and roles during a hunt. Other recommendations in the report include an extension to the time limit for bringing prosecutions.

Scotland has wasted no time in taking the issue forward, and is once again leading the way in closing the current loopholes and showing that it will no longer tolerate poor legislation that allows wild animals to be hunted for so-called sport. This should send a strong message to Westminster that fox hunting must remain a thing of the past. The Government needs to close the current loopholes in the legislation in England and Wales which are being exploited by many trail hunts, rather than trying to repeal a ban that is supported by more than 84% of people.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged Scotland to take this important step by contacting Nicola Sturgeon via our action alert. Now that this commitment to strengthening the legislation has been announced, we will be doing everything we can to make sure that the amendments reflect and incorporate the recommendations made by Lord Bonomy in full and will be truly effective in protecting foxes. We hope to play an active role in any consultation process, as the Government works with key stakeholders.

We may need your help again, too. When the public consultation starts, we’ll be encouraging people who live in Scotland to respond, and make sure we get new laws in place that will help consign cruel fox hunting to the history books once and for all.

--DC

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