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Green MSP proposes bill for stronger wild mammal protection

25 June 2019

Foxes, hares and other wild mammals would be given greater legal protections under a proposed member's bill in the Scottish Parliament, on which Green MSP Alison Johnstone has launched a consultation.

Ms Johnstone seeks to remedy what she sees as the failure of the Parliament's Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 to end hunting with dogs – on which the Scottish Government is also considering action following the Bonomy report, published last year. She comments that the review, as result of Lord Bonomy's remit and his interpretation of it, focused primarily on regulating hunting with dogs, whilst her proposal seeks to end the practice.

She also wants to push forward measures against the slaughter of mountain hares, on which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon promised action following the release of video footage last year but on which Ms Johnstone says no progress has since been made.

Introducing her proposals she writes: "I recognise that these proposals would represent a significant shift. They would end the hunting of wild mammals with dogs and permit killing using other means only as a last resort and as part of a transparent system with regulatory oversight. Those that have become accustomed to the casual and unmonitored approach that is currently in place may instinctively reject these proposals. I urge everyone, however, to consider them carefully."

Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 15 September 2019.

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