Thank you for contacting me about fox hunting in Scotland. Whilst this issue is devolved, and the UK government do not have any influence over decisions that are made in Scotland I am therefore categorically opposed to fox hunting and have campaigned on the issue for many years.  

Fox hunting involves the unnecessary act of hunting and killing foxes purely for the enjoyment of the hunter. This is an act of murdering wild animals for fun. Foxes are not properly protected from hunting as they were intended in the Hunting Act (2004). Labour are exploring ways to bring forward more meaningful bans on the wrongful killings of animals including foxes. You can read more about this here. 

 

As you may know, the Scottish Government appointed the Rt Hon Lord Bonomy in December 2015 to carry out a review of the operation of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002. The main purpose of the 2002 Act is to ban the deployment of dogs to chase and kill wild mammals. However, it also provides a number of exceptions which allow the limited use of dogs for certain situations. 

 

Between 6 October 2017 and 31 January 2018, the Scottish Government carried out a public consultation on proposed reforms to the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, and published the findings from an analysis of the written responses to the consultation in June 2018. You can read this here. 

 

The Scottish Government has not yet announced its response to the consultation. 

 

I have been an animal rights campaigner and a vegetarian for longer than I have been involved in politics and the first political act I ever took was to write to Tony Blair to ask him to ban fox hunting so there is absolutely no chance I would slip from that position now! 

 

Thank you once again for contacting me on such a vital cause. 

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