‘Business as usual’ for Scottish hunts, according to charity

League releases new film showing what fox hunters really get up to!

The League Against Cruel Sports says it’s ‘business as usual’ for hunts in Scotland, claiming fox hunts are riding roughshod over the law. With the latest hunting season now finished, the animal welfare charity has released a new film with a compilation of footage collected by undercover field investigators over the last six years.

The League has been monitoring the activities of Scotland’s ten registered hunts since 2014, and year after year is witnessing hunts behaving almost exactly how they did before the ban came into force in 2002.

The catalogue of footage, some of which led to the Scottish Government’s Bonomy review, illustrates the urgent need for a change in the law to really ban fox hunting in Scotland. The film shows a number of incidents, including an exhausted fox being pursued by a pack of hounds, a fox being killed by hounds and a dead and a disembowelled fox being thrown to hounds by a huntsman, all highlighting the cruelty of this so called sport.

Robbie Marsland, Director of the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said: “The evidence speaks for itself. It is clearly business as usual in Scotland as hunts continue to use packs of hounds to terrorise and kill foxes in the countryside.”

A League fieldworker added: “From my observations over the last six years, watching fox hunts operate in Scotland, it is very clear that what they are doing is purely for recreational purposes and has nothing to do with controlling a wild species”.

Following the Bonomy review the Scottish Government had committed to bringing forward a Bill to strengthen the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act, however this is one of a number of Bills which have been dropped due to Covid-19.

Robbie Marsland continued: “While we are disappointed that the commitment from the Scottish Government to strengthen the current law which supposedly bans hunting has been dropped from the legislative programme in light of Covid-19, we fully appreciate these are unique and unprecedented circumstances and common sense dictates that this takes top priority.

“We will continue to highlight the issues with the current law and hope to see manifesto commitments from all parties ahead of the 2021 elections to strengthen the law which bans hunting in Scotland. At the appropriate time we look forward to working with the Government and the Scottish Parliament to ensure this cruel sport stops once and for all, and we have legislation robust enough to really ban hunting.”

Hunting foxes with dogs was banned in Scotland in 2002, two years before the rest of the UK. In over seventeen years there has only been one successful prosecution of mounted huntsmen for illegal hunting. The League has been campaigning for the law to be strengthened to close loopholes which it believes allow hunts to hunt in a manner which is very similar to pre-ban, traditional hunting.


Notes to editor

1. 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).
2. The film can be downloaded from here.

3. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 / louise@messagematters.co.uk 

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