Letter: Hunting laws have gone to the dogs

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YOUR feature on fox hunting headlined “We are definitely in the entertainment business” (Spectrum 4 December) highlights the need for pro-active policing of hunting in Scotland.

Twenty years ago, even if there was an Old Firm match on in Glasgow, Strathclyde Police would still find the resources to send two van loads of constables, numerous panda cars, the force helicopter and a few plain clothes officers to arrest hunt saboteurs and lock them up while the local hunt rode out across Renfrewshire.

These days not even a lone officer on a pushbike monitors hunt activity.

In the last few months I have observed a hunt in Dumfries and Galloway fail to call off their hounds when in close pursuit of a hare. I’ve had reports of hunt enthusiasts boasting that they “have never had it so good” as they no longer have to worry about hunt saboteurs or the police attention which the saboteurs attracted.

Perhaps the police mounted branch could couple training and exercising their horses with policing fox hunts? SSPCA inspectors might also be deployed to ensure the hunts fully comply with the Protection of Wild Mammals Act (Scotland) 2002.

It is obvious from your article that the arrogant, ignorant attitude of the pro-hunt lobby persists and only proper policing of their activities will ensure that the criminal law of Scotland is not being broken numerous times every week during the hunting season.

John F Robins for Animal Concern