Scottish fox hunt ban back on the agenda

The Countryside Alliance has labelled a Green Party MSP “misguided” for launching another attempt to ban fox hunting outright in Scotland.

Alison Johnstone said she would bring forward a member’s bill calling for a total ban on hunting, including the use of dogs to flush foxes to be shot.

Scotland already prohibits hunting wild mammals with dogs directly, in line with England. The law is continually under review, with the latest development being the report produced by Lord Bonomy. That report supported the use of dogs to flush out foxes, saying it was “a significant pest control measure, both to control the general level of foxes in an area as well as to address particular problems affecting a farm or estate.”

Lord Bonomy’s report recommended a number of ways to make prosecuting lawbreakers easier, including the introduction of independent monitors to police hunts, and making landowners legally responsible for any hunts that take place on their property.

Ms Johnstone, however, said the current law had “failed” and that the practice of flushing foxes was “hunting with dogs under another name.”

Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “Unfortunately, Ms Johnstone does not seem to have considered the evidence or conclusions presented by Lord Bonomy. If she had she would realise that there is no justification whatsoever for any further restrictions on the use of dogs in pest control.”

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