Survey reveals 77% of people in Scotland think current laws are not strong enough.
An overwhelming majority of people in Scotland support a full ban on fox hunting, according to a new poll.
The survey, for the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, found that 87% of people thought fox hunting should be illegal, rising to 92% when those who did not express an opinion are excluded.
Over three-quarters (77%) of those polled thought current hunting laws were not strong enough, rising to 82% among those who expressed an opinion. Just 8% thought fox hunting should be made fully legal again.
The figures are being released on Boxing Day, traditionally the biggest day in the hunting calendar.
Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland said: “These latest figures show the vast majority of the public fully support a ban on fox hunting with 87% of those polled voicing support for the activity to be illegal. However, more significantly, 77% think the law as it stands is inadequate and want to see changes which would really ban hunting in Scotland.
“Fox hunting with hounds was banned in Scotland seventeen years ago yet sadly we have a law which has not served the purpose for which it was intended. This means hunts are continuing to go out two or three times a week over the hunting season, hunting in a way which is almost identical to pre-ban hunting making the law a complete waste of time.
“Repeated polling over many years has consistently shown public opinion rooted firmly against this cruel and outdated pastime.”
The poll, conducted by Mark Diffley Consultancy, showed public support for a ban on fox hunting is fairly consistent across the urban rural divide. In large urban areas 88% support a ban, while in rural areas support is at 82%. Support for continuing a ban is also overwhelming across all age groups, sexes and social classes.
The Scottish Government has announced plans to strengthen legislation, but a Bill has yet to be introduced. Scottish Greens have also introduced a Members’ Bill to tighten hunting laws.
Mr Marsland added: “It is clear there is huge public support for a proper ban on hunting as well as a strong political will to improve the law which currently legislates against fox hunting but it is frustrating that this is not equating into meaningful action. The law was intended to end the horrific practice of using hounds to chase, terrorise and kill wild mammals for sport yet largely, our evidence shows this is still happening week in, week out over the hunting season in Scotland.
“The League will continue to campaign for a law which does what was originally intended and really ban hunting.”