This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Fox hunters are flagrantly flouting the ban in Scotland, finds charity


“Scottish fox hunts appear to be trying to ride a coach and horses through the new law" 

Scottish hunts are attempting to ride roughshod over new anti-hunting laws, according to a new report released by animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports.

It comes as the first season draws to a close since the Hunting With Dogs (Scotland) Act 2023 was introduced.

Files have been passed to Police Scotland to investigate six incidents from the season, and at least one person has been charged with activities related to illegal hunting.

Robbie Marsland, director of League Scotland, said: “Scottish fox hunts appear to be trying to ride a coach and horses through the new law. 

“Whether they’re sneaking around with multiple dogs or saying they are drag hunting, it’s good news that Police Scotland are responding to the League’s evidence and that at least one person has been charged with illegal hunting. 

“This will be a clarion call to anyone who thinks they can get round this new law.”

League’s investigators, who have decades of experience in monitoring and recording hunting, carried out field observations over six months, looking at patterns of behaviour of several hunts.

The Berwickshire, Jed Forest, Lauderdale, Duke of Buccleuch and Dumfries and Stewartry mounted hunts were visited.

The charity, which this year will mark its centenary, lobbied Holyrood for tighter hunting laws in order to properly protect animals such as fox and hare that are chased and killed by packs of hounds.

It says one of the excuses three of the hunts are using – that they are following an artificial, non-animal-based scent – could be a smokescreen for illegal hunting. None are members of, or abide by the rules of, the Master of Blood Hounds and Drag Hunts Association.

Drag hunting has been an established pursuit for decades, typically takes place away from the natural habitats of hunted animals, and uses bloodhounds rather than fox hounds.

The League has evidence that at least one hunt is using fox hounds trained to follow animal scent rather than artificial scent, and is operating in areas where wild animals would be located.

Marsland said: “The next thing that needs to happen is that the Scottish Government should use its executive power to clamp down on bogus drag hunting and the League is seeking a meeting with the Minister to discuss just that.”

The full report and video footage are available at:



Be the first to comment