Mounted fox hunts testing the new ban, according to charity

News release

Four incidents reported to Police Scotland in first season under strengthened law

As fox hunts across Scotland prepare for the biggest day in the hunting calendar - Boxing Day - a leading animal welfare charity warns that the boundaries of the new ban are being tested by hunts since it came into force earlier this year.

Director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, Robbie Marsland said: “It’s early days but there are signs that a number of hunts are testing the new ban. The good news is that Police Scotland and the Scottish Government are taking this seriously. I think we are all agreed that any early attempts to get round the new law should be nipped in the bud.”

The charity says since the first season under the new Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act 2023 got underway it has reported four incidents to Police Scotland which are currently being investigated.

The new legislation which passed through Parliament in January this year brought into force a number of measures which significantly curtail mounted hunting activity, including reducing the number of dogs which can be used to hunt a wild mammal to just two, instead of a full pack, and reducing the number of dogs which can be used below ground to just one.

The Act also includes a pre-emptive ban on trail hunting. Trail hunting is a sport which was created after hunting was banned in England and Wales following the passing of the Hunting Act in 2004. Its inclusion in the Act means trail hunting can not be established north of the border.


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 Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).
  2. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 /

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep in touch. With your permission we'll let you know the very latest news on our fast-moving campaigns, as well as appeals and other actions (such as petitions) so you can continue to help protect animals.

If you would like to know more about your data protection rights, please read our privacy policy.

© 2024 The League Against Cruel Sports. Registered charity in England and Wales (1095234) and Scotland (SC045533).
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 04037610.
Registered office: New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, GU7 1QZ, United Kingdom.