The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed today’s commitment from the Scottish Government to consult to strengthen the law which bans fox hunting in Scotland. The announcement follows the recent publication of the findings of Lord Bonomy’s review of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act (2002).

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP made the announcement today (Tuesday), outlining the process to introduce further legislation to close loopholes in the law which currently make it unfit for purpose.

Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said: “The League Against Cruel Sports is pleased the Scottish Government has taken on board the findings of Lord Bonomy’s review of hunting and responded swiftly to move towards a consultation.

“This is a good first step in making the law which prevents wild mammals being hunted, chased and killed for sport clearer and more suited to its intended purpose. We agree with Lord Bonomy that hunts are using exemptions within the current legislation as a decoy for continuing with traditional hunting practices and that their activities are incidental to pest control.

“We all thought the Act would put a stop to hunting but sadly this wasn’t the case and we now look to the Government to keep the momentum going, following Lord Bonomy’s review, to progress towards a situation where hunting in Scotland is really banned.”

The Scottish Government has responded to Lord Bonomy’s review of the legislation by stating it will invite key stakeholders to work together to develop a code of practice for hunts and explore the potential for a new monitoring scheme. It also intends to consult on proposed changes recommended by Lord Bonomy including the introduction of vicarious liability and reverse burden of proof provisions, an extension to the time limit for bringing prosecutions and the removal of inconsistencies and the improvement of definitions.

The League is committed to working with Government and others on animal welfare and looks forward to receiving more information about the stakeholder process.

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Notes to editor

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at www.league.org.uk. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).