The Scottish National Party [SNP] has vowed to toughen up laws around fox hunting and grouse shooting.
At the party’s national council on December 2, delegates moved to limit hunts to just two hounds, and to make it illegal for mounted hunts to use the dogs to chase foxes from cover.
They also voted to license grouse shooting estates in Scotland.
The vote follows an announcement last month by Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone, who vowed to bring forward a member’s bill at Holyrood to impose a total ban.
According to the Scottish Daily Mail, the move will ‘place the SNP on a crash course with field sports fans’.
A spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance – which promotes blood sports as well as rural issues – was disappointed by the vote.
She said: “It is a shame that some people continue to ignore the evidence and the conclusions of an independent review because of their prejudices.”
But animal welfare campaigners are pleased with the prospective measures.
Jennifer Dunn of the League Against Cruel Sports said it was ‘absolutely delighted’ by the prospect of ‘a real ban on fox hunting in Scotland’.
In addition, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds [RSPB] Head of Investigations Ian Thompson said regulation is necessary, as hunters have killed a spate of protected birds.
He added: “Self-regulation of the game bird shooting industry has failed, with frequent incidents of illegal killing of protected birds of prey.”