Released to press on 03 November 2015
Animal welfare charity OneKind is calling on the Scottish Government to strengthen the law which supposedly bans fox hunting in Scotland. The start of November marks the beginning of the full hunting season, almost thirteen years after the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 was implemented in February 2003.
OneKind claims that loopholes in the law mean very little has changed over the years and hunts are continuing to hunt as they did before the legislation was implemented. Director Harry Huyton said: “Fox hunting is apparently banned in Scotland, yet from this weekend hunts will be going out, seeking and killing foxes. In all this time, very little has changed as a result of loopholes in the original legislation that in effect allow this cruel and outdated practice to continue.
“The Scottish Government has committed to reviewing the legislation and OneKind would like to see this carried out as an urgent priority with outcomes that finally make the ban worth the paper it’s written on.”
Earlier this year an intervention by the SNP prevented an amendment to the Hunting Act in England and Wales which would have weakened the law south of the border. At that time the party stated in no uncertain terms that “We totally oppose fox hunting”, at the same time confirming they would review whether the Scottish ban is strong enough.
Before the hunting ban was passed in 2002 there were ten operational mounted fox hunts in Scotland. There are still ten today and there have been no successful prosecutions of mounted hunts under the Act, whereas in England and Wales there have been a series of prosecutions under the more robust Hunting Act. The latest Scottish Government report into wildlife crime shows that only five cases associated with mounted fox hunt activities have been reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) since 2003, and none of these resulted in a conviction.
Harry Huyton added: “The time has come for a speedy and determined review of the legislation to finally do what the law was intended for: banning fox hunting.”
Notes to editor:
OneKind is a Scottish animal welfare charity working to end animal suffering everywhere through campaigns, research and education.
For further information or photographs please contact Sarah Moyes on 0131 661 email@example.com