Leading animal campaigns charity OneKind is calling for the Scottish Government to introduce a real hunting ban as the annual Boxing Day hunts get underway.
Fox hunting was banned in Scotland under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act in 2002, however loopholes in the law mean that it still takes place. Two hunts are confirmed to go out in Scotland on Boxing Day this year, with many more across the whole of the UK.
OneKind Director Harry Huyton said:
“Once again, hunts will go out across the country and foxes will be killed. We cannot stand back and let this cruel sport continue. It’s time for the Scottish Government to act and introduce a real fox hunting ban so this year’s Boxing Day hunts will be the last.”
2017 was a landmark year which saw the first successful conviction of an offence under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act since it was introduced in 2002. Jedforest Hunt members Johnathan Riley, 24, and 66-year old John Clive Richardson were found guilty of hunting a fox with dogs on farmland near Jedburgh in February 2016 following a trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
This year also saw the launch of a public consultation into the future of fox hunting in Scotland and Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone announced she is planning to introduce a bill to ban fox hunting in Scotland.
Harry Huyton continued:
“This year’s first conviction of a mounted hunt in Scotland showed us that fox hunting is still taking place across the country, and the law in its current state is clearly not adequate.”
“We’re now at a crucial stage of Scotland’s fox hunting debate, and I look forward to 2018 being the year where we see the possibility of a real fox hunting ban in Scotland.”