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We work to expose and end the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport

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WILDLIFE CRIMEWATCH LINE 01483 361 108

Scotland and Cruel Sports

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The Overview : the League campaigns against cruelty to animals perpetrated in the name of sport in Scotland – in the same way that it campaigns on the same issue in the rest of the UK.

Some legislation that affects Scotland is reserved to Westminster – including the licensing of most guns. However, much other legislation that the League campaigns on in Scotland is controlled by the Scottish Parliament, including hunting, snaring, air gun licensing and issues pertaining to conservation. The League makes representations to Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) on these important issues.

Current campaigns include:

Guns: The Scottish Government recently began the process of installing a licensing scheme for air guns. The League supports tighter controls on the sale and use of air guns and will be carefully monitoring the progress of the legislation and making representations to ensure that it makes it as difficult as possible to harm animals with an air gun. 

Snares: Despite a passionate and high profile campaign by the League and other organisations, the Scottish Government stopped short of completely banning snares in Scotland. Scotland now has more legislation surrounding the use of snares than anywhere else in the UK, but we believe that this is not enough. Only an outright ban will stop animals enduring the horror of being snared.

Shooting: The League believes that shooting animals for sport is inherently cruel and that rearing birds purposefully to enjoy their mass slaughter is barbaric. Many other wild animals, including raptors, hares, foxes and others are persecuted by the game industry. We campaign to expose the unpleasant truths that the shooting industry would rather hide. 

Hunting with Dogs: The League Against Cruel Sports won a major victory in 2002, when the practise of hunting animals with dogs was banned earlier in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK, by the Protection of Wild Mammals Act. There is no threat that his legislation will be repealed, however, the Act has an exemption which allows any number of dogs to be used underground to flush foxes. We believe the legislation is weak and should be made more stringent to prevent hunts exploiting loopholes to allow their dogs to “accidentally” savage foxes and other animals. 

The League is a member of the Cross Party Group on Animal Welfare and of the Partnership Against Wildlife Crime in Scotland (PAWS).

For further information about the League's campaigning in Scotland, please email: jenniferdunn@league.org.uk