Scotland makes history with new fox hunting ban
Posted 1st February 2023
You may have heard on the news that the League Against Cruel Sports has just achieved a major historic win and it’s all thanks to our supporters.
The Scottish Parliament has just voted to pass the new Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill, 20 years after the Scottish Parliament last tried to ban the cruel blood sport of fox hunting in 2002. This new Bill means that many of the loopholes that have allowed it to continue have been closed.
Crucially, this Bill also includes a pre-emptive ban on trail hunting which is often seen as a 'smokescreen’, or a loophole, for hunts to continue in England and Wales. This means that trail hunting will not be legal north of the border. Scotland will now have the most robust law anywhere in the UK so far, to prevent the cruelty of chasing and killing wild mammals for sport - and this is something to celebrate.
Despite a persistent campaign from those resolute to keep hunting alive in the Scottish countryside, and with encouragement from tens of thousands of people from around the country, the Scottish Government has been determined to end the sport of hunting, a sentiment which has been supported by the Parliament.
But the deep-rooted defiance among those who wish to chase and kill foxes will not be underestimated. The number of dogs that can be used to flush out a wild mammal for the purpose of culling will be reduced to two but the new Bill also includes a licensing system which will allow for a full pack of hounds to be used in certain circumstances. The detail of the scheme has yet to be developed but we have concerns this has the potential to be exploited.
The League will work closely with the Government and others to ensure any licencing scheme is robust, effective and fit for purpose and we have the assurance of the Government that this is their intention.
Because of our supporters, we were able to launch the investigations and obtain the footage that showed that fox hunting never stopped. Because of our supporters we went to the Scottish Government in our tens of thousands – by signing petitions and by marching on the streets to the parliament. Because of the support of members of the public, like you, we have kept this campaign going until this historic moment and I couldn’t be more thankful and proud to see it happen.
The hard work for our animals continues but I think we can take a moment to smile about what we have achieved together.
For the Foxes March, Edinburgh