Shocking footage has been released by the League Against Cruel Sports showing foxes being fed to hounds. The highlight reel is tough viewing but shows what is common practice for hunts across Scotland. Mr Marsland said: “If hunts were obeying the law, the dogs would be used to flush a fox from cover where it could then be shot – but where’s the fun in that?

“Traditional hunting ­celebrates the suffering and the kill. Throwing dead foxes to dogs ensures they continue to have the taste for blood, and subsequently the desire to kill.

“The footage shows that hunters are not ready to give this element of their sport up.

It comes after distressing footage showed a fox being killed by the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt in Scotland just a couple of weeks ago. The kill was witnessed by Glasgow Hunt Sabs who released the following statement – “This was a legal kill facilitated by illegal actions - This is what Scottish hunts are trying to convince you is fine. A pack of hounds pursued this fox for ages and were pulled off the scent several times, before the fox eventually ran into the line of waiting guns to die by bullet. This is what the hunt are marketing as ‘pest control’.

So why the fanfare then? Why else would the huntsman be giddy with glee and throw the body to the hounds? If not for joy of the kill? Saying “do you want me to hold it up?”

Note the rolling of the tongue, huntsman Conrad Jones is teaching the pack that they should be excited by fox blood. “Good boys and girls”- that their objective is to kill.

It is legal in Scotland for a pack of hounds to flush a fox to guns, it is however illegal for the pack to chase a fox over open ground- as they did here. Shooters aren’t there for ‘pest control’, they’re there to work in tandem with the hunt in a bizarre pursuit for blood lust.”

You can support Glasgow Hunt Sabs and donate to them here.

The Scottish Government has released a public consultation in recent days regarding the Protection of WildMammals Act (2002) and we are urging our supporters to have their say. You can fill out the consultation in just a few minutes here

WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION IN SCOTLAND WHEN IT COMES TO FOX HUNTING?

Unlike the legislation that governs England and Wales (2004 Hunting Act) the Protection of Wild Mammals Act (2002) foxes can still technically be hunted in Scotland, but how they are killed is crucial.

Nine of Scotland's 10 mounted hunts have survived because the legislation stipulates that dogs can be used to flush foxes to guns. As reported on by the Guardian in 2004, "In Dumfriesshire or Perthshire, the hunts still meet and dogs are still used to flush out foxes. But, crucially, the dogs must not be allowed to kill the fox; it must be shot. It is an extremely difficult law to police."

Of course this is the main loophole that hunts in Scotland currently use as a way of illegally hunting and killing wildlife. The current law needs to be amended to ensure this loophole is removed and no dogs are allowed to flush out foxes when they go underground for cover. You can read more about the proposed changes to the Protection of Wild Mammals Act and have your say in the public consultation here

Rob Pownall

Founder of Keep The Ban

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