On Friday, 29 October, the Scottish Government announced a consultation on further proposals relating to the use of dogs to flush foxes and other wild mammals in Scotland. The consultation concerns the proposals made by the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment on 9 January 2019. These are in addition to the changes recommended by Lord Bonomy in his review, on which the Scottish Government has already consulted.

These additional proposals include:

  1.  A new limit of no more than two dogs to be used to flush foxes or other wild mammals from cover.

  2.  Consideration of a licensing scheme permitting more than two dogs to flush foxes or other wild mammals from cover in certain limited  circumstances.

  3.  Banning the practice known as “trail hunting” as this poses significant risks for wild mammals.

It is vital all those who live and work in the countryside respond directly to the consultation which can be found here. The consultation closes on 15 December 2021.

Here is a short commentary on the consultation questions and some relevant points you may wish to raise. Although scope for comment is limited, please include personal experience where possible. You can read our commentary on the consultation questions here.

The Scottish Countryside Alliance believes the Scottish Government’s proposals are unnecessary, unjustified and directly contradict the conclusions of the independent review carried out by Lord Bonomy. It is difficult to imagine a more pointless or illogical legislation, but if the Government is determined to push ahead it must ensure that farmers can continue to protect their livestock and wildlife. Any licensing scheme for the use of packs of dogs must be fair, equitable and accessible so the livelihoods of farmers and land managers are not compromised.


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