Scottish Labour have pledged to lodge amendments to close loopholes in new fox hunting legislation.

MSPs will today (Tuesday 25) vote on the general principles of the bill, which is supposed to close the loopholes that have plagued the ban since it was introduced in 2002.

However, the bill proposes a licensing scheme that could give hunts a new way to get around the rules. Under the scheme packs of dogs can still be used to “flush” out foxes under license.

Scottish Labour have pledged to lodge amendments to remove this loophole as the bill goes through Parliament, in order to deliver a real ban once and for all and make this the “last tally ho” for fox hunting.

The party criticised the Greens for “selling out” animal welfare in the Bute House agreement, by exempting field sports and giving the SNP a free pass to ignore their views.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Animal Welfare spokesperson Colin Smyth said:

“Hunts have been riding roughshod over both the letter and the spirit of the fox hunting ban for a decade now, but we finally have a chance to right this wrong.

“The SNP are set to create new loopholes as we close the old ones with their unworkable and unnecessary licensing scheme – but you cannot license cruelty.

“The Greens have sold out animal welfare in government, by giving the SNP a free pass to ignore their views.

“I will fight to make this the last tally-ho for hunting by removing this loophole and consigning this archaic ‘sport’ to the history books once and for all.”

“If SNP MSPs vote with the Tories against my amendment they will be voting to continue hunting with packs of dogs”.

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