Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that the operation and enforcement of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 is to be strengthened.

The announcement comes in response to an independent review undertaken by the Rt Hon Lord Bonomy. The review was commissioned in 2015 following concerns of widespread illegal hunting – despite the 2002 Act, which was intended to ban fox-hunting over a decade ago.

The Scottish Government will now invite key stakeholders to work together to develop a code of practice for hunts and explore the potential for a new monitoring scheme.Ministers will also consult on Lord Bonomy’s proposed changes to the existing legislation. These include:

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

Cunninghame South MSP, Ruth Maguire, has been consistently and strongly opposed to fox-hunting, and last year hosted an event in Parliament together with the League Against Cruel Sports to raise awareness around it.

Commenting on the news that the ban is to be strengthened, Ruth said:

‘The Scottish Government’s evidence based review has concluded that the widespread concerns about the current functioning of the 2002 legislation, intended to ban fox-hunting, are well-founded.

I welcome the Government’s responsiveness and commitment in now acting to strengthen the existing legislation and make sure that we really put an end to the cruel and barbaric practice of fox-hunting’