On December 2, the Scottish National Party (SNP) made moves to toughen the laws on fox hunting and grouse shooting. Members called for hunts to be limited to only two hounds, and for it to become illegal for mounted hunts to use dogs to chase foxes from cover. Currently, there is no legislation in place for the number of dogs used on a hunt by foot or mounted hunts.
A vote was also taken in favour of licensing grouse shooting estates throughout Scotland.
A spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance, who operates in support and promotes blood sports, spoke of the matter saying: “It is a shame that some people continue to ignore the evidence and the conclusions of an independent review because of their prejudices.”
For animal rights activists and campaigners, the news of these prospective measures is long awaited. A representative for the League Against Cruel Sports commented saying they were “absolutely delighted” at the news of “a real ban on fox hunting in Scotland”.
Not only does this bring good news for foxes, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says that regulation is necessary, as hunters have killed a number of protected species. Head of Investigations Ian Thompson also said: “Self-regulation of the game bird shooting industry has failed, with frequent incidents of illegal killing of protected birds of prey.”
The news of legal action being enforced and supported by a political party has been waited on for a number of years, with many in favour of tighter laws being a necessity and pleased with the announcement of the action the SNP intend to take.