In what could prove to be a major blow for the future of fox hunting, the Scottish Gov Hunting with Dogs Bill is aimed at “closing loopholes”, proposes a “licence” for the use of more than two dogs and an outright ban on “trail hunting.

The news comes after a consultation was released last year by the Scottish Government in which members of the public were asked about their views of proposed changes/amendments to future legislation on hunting in the country. The proposed changes could have a massive impact on the future of fox hunting not only in Scotland but across the whole of the British Isles. In particular the move to ban 'trail hunting' is nothing short of monumental. Time and time again hunts across the UK have used the "smokescreen" of 'trail hunting' as a means of covering up illegal fox hunting and for a piece of legislation to recognise this and to ban it completely is massive. You can watch our animation 'A Trail of Lies' to find out more about the lie that is 'trail hunting'.

Thank you to every single person who completed the public consultation.

An overview of The Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill can be read below:

It is against the law to hunt a wild mammal using a dog except in limited circumstances. This became an offence under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.

This Bill replaces the 2002 Act. It will still be an offence to hunt a wild mammal using a dog except in limited circumstances. For example, hunting with dogs may be allowed to prevent the spread of disease or to protect other animals if the activity meets the requirements in the Bill about how it is done. However, it will always be illegal to chase and kill a wild mammal using a dog.

Where hunting is allowed, the Bill introduces new limits on the number of dogs that can be used. In some circumstances, people may be able to get a licence to use more dogs.

The Bill also bans trail hunting except in limited circumstances. Trail hunting is when a dog is used to find and follow an animal-based scent.

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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