New research shows that hunting with dogs is completely irrelevant to Scottish voters and that the vast majority support the right of farmers to protect their livestock by shooting foxes.

A YouGov online survey conducted between 19 – 23 February 2018 for the Scottish Countryside Alliance asked voters what issues had the most impact on their vote at the General Election last year. Of the 1,031 adults asked not one single respondent listed hunting when asked for their opinion unprompted. When asked to rank different issues by impact 98%* of voters said hunting was not in the top 5 issues that affected their vote.

Meanwhile the overwhelming majority of Scots (61%) support the right of farmers to shoot foxes to protect their livestock as the law currently allows.

Jamie Stewart, the Director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance said: “This research confirms, once again, that hunting is completely irrelevant to Scottish voters. The continued obsession of some parts of the political and media classes with the issue of hunting with hounds is completely out of step with the priorities of Scottish people.

“The Scottish Government commissioned a review into hunting legislation which confirmed that the current law allows for necessary and effective fox control. Those using dogs to control foxes are more than willing to show that they are working within the law. There is, however, no justification or public support for further restrictions and any move to re-open a political debate would be in clear conflict with voter’s priorities”.


Notes to editors:

  • To view the published data from YouGov please click here.
  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,031 adults in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th – 23rd February 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).
  • *When asked: ‘Thinking back to the General Election last year, which of the following issues had the most influence on your vote? (Please rank your top five)’ 84% didn’t rank it in their top 5, with 13% answering ‘don’t know’ to the whole question.