Tue 23 Feb, 2021

John will this week move to remove an exemption that allows dogs on a foxhunt to attack or worry farm animals.

SNP MSP Emma Harper has introduced a member’s bill which would place severe penalties on dog owners who allow their dog to worry livestock. However, the draft laws retain an exemption for hunting dogs from earlier legislation.

John Finnie has moved to remove the exemption.

Commenting, John Finnie MSP said: “Fox hunts charge through fields and cause distress to livestock so it is bewildering why they should ever have been exempt from laws protecting livestock.

“This Bill is an updating of legislation half a century old and during that time society has changed its attitude to hunting by dogs. However, what has remained the same is the recognition that it’s a bad idea to have any dog, let alone a pack of dogs, running loose among livestock.

“I hope that Members will support my amendment. If not, it might reasonably be assumed that retaining this exemption is simply to keep the hunting fraternity happy, at the expense of the safety of animals and the livelihood of farmers.  It is completely wrong-headed, and flies in the face of any pretence that fox hunting was banned in Scotland.

“I hope MSPs of all parties can see that having one rule for bloodsports and another for everyone else is completely unsustainable and will back my amendment to remove this exemption.”

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