Boxing Day True Test of Hunting Ban
The first Boxing Day since hunting was outlawed in Scotland will need police to be at their most vigilant to ensure the law is enforced robustly, Scottish Greens rural affairs spokesperson Ariane Burgess has warned.
Ms Burgess, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands, has described today as being the first “true test” of the Hunting With Dogs Act and said she expects officers to crack down on any rogue groups.
The Hunting With Dogs (Scotland) Act came into force in October, making it illegal to flush out a wild animal with more than two dogs and hunt with packs, effectively ending hunting with hounds as we know it.
The Highlands and Islands MSP said: “Scotland now has the most robust law on hunting with dogs in the UK but the activity of hunts must be scrutinised closely to see who is complying with the law and who is looking for loopholes to exploit.
“Boxing Day, a traditionally busy time for hunts, is the first true test of the success of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act.
“All eyes will be on Police Scotland and their enforcement of the hunting ban to ensure the ban is honoured and foxhounds don’t seek to exploit loopholes.
“Hunting with dogs is brutal, cruel and outdated. It has no place in a modern or progressive Scotland, and we should all take pride in this new law.
“The new law is much more robust than the previous ban, but we will be watching carefully to ensure it is effective and abided by.”
Since the Act passed, the Lanarkshire & Renfrewshire Foxhounds have ceased operations after more than 250 years and Fife Foxhounds announced a plan to switch to drag hunting instead.