Video footage shows the need for a complete ban, charity says.
It’s been “business as usual” for Scotland’s hunts over the past six years, according to a charity.
The League Against Cruel Sports, which has been monitoring the activities of the country’s ten registered hunts since 2014, says they are operating almost exactly as they did before the 2002 hunting ban.
With the latest season now finished, the charity has released a video of footage collected by its undercover investigators over the six-year-period.
The video shows incidents including an exhausted fox being pursued by a pack of hounds, a fox being killed by hounds and a dead and a disembowelled fox being thrown to hounds by a huntsman.
The charity is now calling for an urgent change in the law to completely ban fox hunting in Scotland.
Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: “The evidence speaks for itself. It is clearly business as usual in Scotland as hunts continue to use packs of hounds to terrorise and kill foxes in the countryside.”
A league fieldworker added: “From my observations over the last six years, watching fox hunts operate in Scotland, it is very clear that what they are doing is purely for recreational purposes and has nothing to do with controlling a wild species”.
Some footage from the film was used to inform the Scottish Government’s Bonomy Review, which recommended stronger legislation to protect wild animals. However, a bill to enshrine these recommendations into law has been dropped amid the current coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Marsland said: “While we are disappointed that the commitment from the Scottish Government to strengthen the current law which supposedly bans hunting has been dropped from the legislative programme in light of Covid-19, we fully appreciate these are unique and unprecedented circumstances and common sense dictates that this takes top priority.
“We will continue to highlight the issues with the current law and hope to see manifesto commitments from all parties ahead of the 2021 elections to strengthen the law which bans hunting in Scotland. At the appropriate time we look forward to working with the Government and the Scottish Parliament to ensure this cruel sport stops once and for all, and we have legislation robust enough to really ban hunting.”