Leading animal campaigns charity OneKind is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a real fox hunting ban as mounted packs around the UK set off on their Boxing Day and New Year’s Day hunts.
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. In England, the Boxing Day meets are public events, while in Scotland the festive meets traditionally take place on New Year’s Day. The current fox hunting season is the fourth since Lord Bonomy was commissioned by the Scottish Government to review the workings of the law and make recommendations for reform.
OneKind Director Bob Elliot said:
“It’s been 16 years since fox hunting was meant to have been banned in Scotland, but once again hunts will be going out across the country and foxes will be killed. We’re calling on the Scottish Government to act as early as possible in 2019 to ensure this year’s Boxing Day and New Year hunts will be the last.”
2018 has been a landmark year which saw the campaign to really ban fox hunting in Scotland gather momentum. In March, around 1,000 people marched through Edinburgh calling for an end to fox hunting and the Scottish Government published its analysis of the consultation on reforming the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act, with 98% of the respondents supporting a real and effective fox hunting ban. However, the Scottish Government has still to announce its intentions.
This month saw two members of the Buccleuch Hunt in the Borders cleared of deliberately hunting a wild mammal with dogs. Shaun Anderson was found not guilty, while the case against Timothy Allen was found impossible to convict due to difficulties with the current legislation.
Bob Elliot continued:
“It is very clear that the public overwhelmingly support a real and effective fox hunting ban with the majority of people opposing this cruel and outdated sport.”
“We once again reiterate our calls for the Scottish Government to act to put an end to the pursuit and killing of foxes by packs of dogs and bring in a law that – unlike the current one – will be fit for purpose and will actually ban fox hunting for good.”
Notes to editor:
1. OneKind is Scotland’s leading animal campaigns charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals. OneKind works to expose cruelty and persecution through investigations and research covering Scotland’s wildlife, farm animals and pets.