A new poll suggests as many as eight in ten Scots support fox hunting being illegal north of the Border.
The research, commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland and published today – the biggest day in the hunting calendar, found 80 per cent thought hunting foxes should be against the law. Fox hunting with dogs was banned in Scotland through the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act in 2002, with an exemption for using dogs to flush out foxes for pest control or protecting livestock or ground-nesting birds.
Mounted hunts in Scotland have since offered farmers, landowners and estate managers a pest control service but a review by Lord Bonomy published last year found there were “grounds to suspect” fox hunting takes place illegally and he recommended having independent monitors to police hunts.
Polling was carried out for the league by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research – the new venture from the former director of the research institute Ipsos Mori Scotland – using the online research panel ScotPulse, with 1,463 responses received between September 5 and 13. It found a majority of supporters of all political parties were in favour of maintaining the ban, ranging from 60 per cent of Tory voters to 83 and 88 per cent respectively for Labour and SNP voters.
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 80 per cent of those polled voicing support for the activity to be illegal.
“Repeated polling over many years has consistently shown this to be the case with public opinion rooted firmly against this cruel and outdated pastime. Fox hunting with hounds was banned in Scotland 15 years ago yet sadly we have a law which has not served the purpose for which it was intended.”