It is time to close the loopholes and finally ban fox hunting in Scotland, according to the Scottish Greens.
Speaking ahead of a debate in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Greens rural affairs spokesperson, Ariane Burgess MSP, announced her intention to move amendments to significantly strengthen the Bill.
At present, there are three big loopholes that undermine the Bill. Ariane Burgess MSP will be moving amendments to close all three of them.
This will include removing loopholes to the ban, like the Scottish Government’s proposed licensing of hunting with packs of dogs in some circumstances, as well as removing the loopholes that allow the use of dogs for sport and for terrier work. This is the cruel practice of sending dogs underground to flush out foxes, and can lead to orphan cubs being killed by dogs underground.
Hunting with Dogs is the first bill in the excluded area of the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s debate, Ariane Burgess MSP said:
“It’s already an offence to use a dog to chase and kill wild mammals. But exceptions in the current law act as loopholes and provide cover for illegal hunting to continue.
“The new Bill is supposed to resolve these ambiguities and make it easier to end illegal activity. However, it is undermined by loopholes, including a scheme that would allow licensed hunting.
“There is no need to kill animals for sport. My Scottish Green colleagues and I are opposed to blood sports - full stop.
“That’s why they are an excluded area in the Bute House Agreement with the SNP Government. It means we can push harder for more ambitious legislation that gives wild animals the protection and respect they need and deserve.
“But there are areas where we do agree, and I am confident there will be scope to work together with the SNP and other parties to strengthen this Bill as it makes its way through Parliament.
“The amendments that I am moving will close the loopholes and end hunting with dogs for good.”