Scottish Labour has called on the SNP Government to get on with a ban on hunting and ensure that 2018 will be the last Boxing Day hunt.
Responding to the Government’s statement on animal welfare in the Scottish Parliament today, Labour warned proposals on hunting from the SNP do not go far enough to end the practise and there was no timescale for legislation on hunting.
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said:
“It is clear there are loopholes in the existing legislation and hunts have gone out of their way to ride roughshod over the law in both letter and spirit”.
“The Government’s proposals on hunting are a step in the right direction but you cannot licence cruelty. Any plan to bring forward a licencing scheme that would still allow more two dogs to be used against wild animals could add another loophole that allows hunting to continue”.
“It is three years since the Government announced a review of hunting. It’s time for them to get on with consigning the practise of fox hunting to the history books once and for all, and bring forward legislation that ensures 2018 will be remembered as the last ever Boxing Day hunt.”
Scottish Labour also expressed concern that the Government’s statement failed to include commitments on measures to ban the third party sale of puppies, the use of shock collars, the live export of animals for fattening and slaughter, trophy hunting or to consult on a ban on the use of snares and hare culls.
Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson on Animal Welfare Claudia Beamish said:
“From lifting the ban on tail docking to failing to agree to Labour’s proposals to consult on a ban on snaring, the SNP Government record on animal welfare is shocking.
“While there is much within the Government’s statement we welcome, what we need is a comprehensive Animal Welfare Bill to tackle the multitude of issues that continue to be ignored and blight Scotland’s reputation as a nation of animal lovers”.