The banning of fox hunting in Scotland
Two things happened this week that will change the future of fox hunting in Scotland and, in turn, the rest of the UK. I wanted to share them with you because as a OneKind member, you’re helping make this happen.On Sunday we released the horrific details as to how a fox had been killed by a Scottish hunt. On the 5th of November, a fox carcass was handed into Hessilhead Wildlife Hospital in Ayreshire. The fox had extensive injuries and Hessilhead were keen to establish the cause of death, so they contacted OneKind and we arranged for a post-mortem to be carried out by SAC Consulting Veterinary Services. As far as we know, this is the first time the carcass of a fox killed in this way has had a post mortem. This is what the pathologist concluded:
“The shotgun pellets appear to have missed the vital organs so in my opinion the shot was not instantly fatal and death will have been due to a combination of respiratory failure, blood loss and shock. This will have caused significant unnecessary suffering to the fox.”
For years the proponents of fox hunting have tried to claim that the death of a hunted fox is instantaneous. The fate of this poor animal shows what really happens, which is why we were delighted to see the story widely reported by the media, including the front page of the Times. You can read more about this horrific incident here.
The following day, the Scottish Government published a landmark review of the fox hunting ‘ban’. OneKind has long considered the ban unfit for purpose, and we are delighted that the review confirms this.
The review was carried out by Lord Bonomy and it is a comprehensive analysis that lays bare the failures of the law. Scottish hunts have continued their activities after the ban by claiming that they offer a pest control service, which is permitted by the Act. Lord Bonomy notes there is evidence that this is a “decoy” for the continuation of traditional hunting. He also suggests the fox we had post-mortemed was by no means unique. Approximately 160 foxes are killed by hounds in Scotland each year.
Lord Bonomy made many recommendations to improve the law. It’s now over to the Scottish Government to close the loopholes in the Act and end fox hunting, as the Scottish Parliament intended. This will mean implementing all of Lord Bonomy’s recommendations, and more.
For more on the Bonomy report, including a summary of the recommendations and our response to them, check out this blog.
Last Summer, when the SNP bravely announced that they would vote against weakening the Hunting Act in Westminster, Angus Robertson, the SNP leader in Westminster, and now deputy party leader said “We totally oppose foxhunting”. We will be working hard over the next year to make sure they deliver on this.