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Foxhunting law to be strengthened, minister confirms

1 February 2017

Further controls on foxhunting in Scotland have been promised by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

In response to Lord Bonomy's review of the operation and enforcement of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, the Scottish Government will promote work to develop a code of practice for hunts and explore the potential for a new monitoring scheme, while also consulting on Lord Bonomy’s proposed legislative changes. These include:

  • the introduction of vicarious liability and reverse burden of proof provisions;
  • an extension to the time limit for bringing prosecutions; and
  • the removal of inconsistencies and the improvement of definitions.

Ms Cunningham said: “I am determined to ensure the highest possible levels of animal welfare and Lord Bonomy’s recommendations will help us build on the advances already achieved.

“This package of measures will substantially improve the language used in the existing legislation, address inconsistencies in the law, and strengthen the scrutiny and accountability of hunts."

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association and animal welfare campaigners have welcomed the move.

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