League footage shows routine sheep worrying by Scottish hunts

The League Against Cruel Sports says it gives its full support to an amendment tabled by Green MSP John Finnie to the Protection of Livestock (Scotland) Bill. Emma Harper’s Members Bill proposes to increase penalties and provide additional powers to investigate and enforce the offence of livestock worrying.

Mr Finnie’s amendment proposes that hounds used for fox hunting are no longer exempt from legislation as they are currently under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953.

The League has released video footage of Scottish hunts regularly causing panic among flocks of sheep at a time when the public is being warned of the dangers of sheep worrying.

Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said: “We are very supportive of Emma Harper’s Bill but believe it needs to take a belt and braces approach to tackling the whole issue of livestock worrying, and this includes recognising the problems caused by hounds hunting foxes. Mr Finnie’s amendment is an important one that would close a loophole which currently allows fox hunts to routinely worry sheep and other livestock.

The ten Scottish fox hunts are out three or four times a week from November until the end of March - a period that covers most of the times ewes are pregnant and the lambing season. The League believes hunts are routinely allowing their hounds to cause chaos among sheep and has released footage to support this.

Robbie Marsland added: “We know that just the sight of one dog can devastate a pregnant ewe, so we can only imagine the trauma caused by a pack of over thirty dogs in full cry tearing through a field. The League has released footage showing packs of fox hounds regularly evoking panic in flocks of sheep. In one case members of a hunt appear to casually ignore the plight of one clearly distraught sheep that desperately attempts to clamber over a wire fence and tumbles over and over as the hunt calmly ride by.”

League Scotland logo for PR

Ends

Notes to editor

  1. The footage can be viewed here.
  2. 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).
  3. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 / [email protected]