Appeal from animal charity OneKind:
Fox hunting was meant to have been banned in Scotland back in 2002.
Securing the ban on hunting with dogs was one of our proudest moments. It was a landmark victory for the animal welfare movement, and the vast majority of the public, who agreed that chasing a wild animal with a pack of hounds to the point of exhaustion and death should not be acceptable under law. The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, as it is known, has helped counter some forms of hunting with dogs, but thirteen years later, it’s become clear that loopholes in the law allow mounted fox hunts to carry on hunting much the same as they did before.
The law allows for packs of hounds to be used for stalking and flushing foxes from cover with the intention they will then be shot. As a result of this loophole, fox hunts in Scotland are able to continue chasing foxes, and there have been no successful prosecutions of hunts since the legislation was introduced. The League Against Cruel Sports investigation of Scottish Hunts in the 2014/15 season gave the impression that whilst exploiting this loophole was routine, the hunts they filmed didn’t even appear to have anyone with guns present.
We now have a chance to put an end to this cruelty for good. When the SNP intervened to save the Hunting Act in England and Wales from seriously damaging amendments, their spokesperson stated in no uncertain terms that, “we totally oppose fox hunting”. They also confirmed they would review whether the Scottish ban is strong enough.
This is our chance to close the loopholes and end fox hunting in Scotland for good. OneKind are asking us to help finish off what we started many, many years ago. Take action now, and ask the Minister responsible to close the loopholes and make the hunting ban in Scotland effective.