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MSP joins in anti-fox hunting protest

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By DnG24 Newsdesk
Annan and Eskdale
MSP joins in anti-fox hunting protest

A SOUTH Labour MSP has backed calls for a full ban on fox hunting north of the border.

PROTEST . . .  Colin Smyth, MSP, left, during the protest against fox hunting in Edinburgh

During the Holyrood protest on Saturday, Mr Smyth, Shadow Rural Economy Secretary, urged the Scottish Government to close so-called ‘loopholes’ in current legislation, which, he said, effectively allowed hunting to continue.

The current Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act in 2002 allows mounted hunts to flush out foxes to be shot. But opponents of the rural activity state that packs of hounds chase the fox and then kill it which is classed as accidental under the legislation.

Mr Smyth believes the law in Scotland should be amended to ban mounted hunts flushing out foxes and the number of dogs used to be reduced to two.

He said: “The recommendations to tweak the current regu lations in the recent Scottish Government review carried out by Lord Bonomy don’t go far enough.”

“The Scottish Government need to go beyond Bonomy and bring forward proposals to close existing ‘loopholes.’

An active supporter of fox hunting, who lives in Dumfriesshire but wished to remain anonymous, said in her experience the Scottish legislation was working well and she had not witnessed any evidence of the regulations being abused.

She said: “It strikes the right balance between animal welfare and pest control. There are trained marksmen on hand to dispatch the fox.

“Those against hunting suggest there is little support in rural areas. Anyone attending hunts knows they are part of the rural way of life for many people.”


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