Updated Thursday 12th January, 2023

Stage 2 passed as expected in the RAINE Committee’s December session. Read all about the tabled amendments and the outcome of them, here. Working with many of the rural membership organisations, the Scottish Countryside Alliance submitted a significant amount of these amendments, but few were accepted. Some were technical adjustments whilst others were more significant, relating to trail-hunting, rabbits, terriers and the licence itself. 

As we enter the final stage of the Bill, it is more important than ever to lobby our MSPs face to face. We have devised a lobby guide so that you can fully understand what is involved in the lobbying process.

 

Background

On Friday, 29 October 2021, the Scottish Government announced that a consultation will take place on proposals to strengthen the law relating to the use of dogs to hunt and flush foxes and other wild mammals in Scotland. 

The Scottish Countryside Alliance has been consulting with stakeholder organisations, as well as its members and interested parties and will remain engaged with MSP’s across Scotland.

We are urging those who live and work in the countryside to respond directly and lobby at local level, to ensure that unnecessary and ill thought out legislation is not responsible for the loss of effective and humane working practices throughout Scotland. You can read our commentary on the consulation questions here.

The Scottish Government is now further consulting on a smaller number of factors including: limiting the number of dogs used to flush foxes, licensing of the use of packs (only granted when certain criteria are met) and the banning of trail hunting.

Jake Swindells, Director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance responded to the announcement.

Jake Swindells, Director of the SCA

“The 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 consultation, 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 must be fair, equitable and accessible so the livelihoods of farmers and land managers are not compromised.”

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