Green MSP to publish consultation on fox hunting ban
Alison Johnstone warned “the so-called ban has failed and urgent action is needed to close the loopholes that allow foxes to be chased and even killed by hunts”
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Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone has pledged to publish a consultation on plans to ban fox hunting in Scotland.
With fox hunts taking place across Scotland today, Johnstone warned that “the so-called ban has failed and urgent action is needed to close the loopholes that allow foxes to be chased and even killed by hunts”.
The Scottish Government is currently reviewing fox hunting laws, which allow foxes to be flushed from cover and shot dead for pest control.
A review, conducted by Lord Bonomy, suggested that around 800 foxes are killed by hunts every year in Scotland, with one in five foxes killed by packs of hounds, in breach of the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002.
The review concluded that there are still “aspects and features of the [fox hunting] legislation which complicate unduly the detection, investigation and prosecution of alleged offences”.
Johnstone then announced plans to introduce a bill to the Scottish Parliament to ban fox hunting in Scotland, with the MSP set to publish a consultation in the New Year.
She said: “Last month I watched in horror as a fox was chased by hunting dogs through the open countryside. Today the Boxing Day hunts will go out much like they always have. There is no doubt in my mind that the so-called ban has failed and urgent action is needed to close the loopholes that allow foxes to be chased and even killed by hunts.”
“Members within the SNP and Labour clearly share my frustration with fox hunting and the lack of protection that wild mammals are afforded in Scotland. In 2019 I hope that we can come together and deliver real progress towards effective protection, including a hunting ban that does what it says on the tin. This is what the overwhelming majority of the Scottish public want to see, and we must not disappoint them.”
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Groups warn “the clock has run out” and that “without this protection, beavers are subject to unregulated culling, which can take place anytime, anywhere”