Colin Smyth MSP
South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour Animal Welfare spokesperson Colin Smyth has again said it is time to end the cruelty of hunting with dogs once and for all.
The local MSP recently spoke at the For the Foxes march in Edinburgh, which was organised by the League Against Cruel Sports and OneKind with support from Scottish Badgers. The march came days after the Scottish Parliament voted in support of the principles of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill allowing the legislation to proceed to stage two.
The bill includes measures to reduce the pack of hounds to just two dogs and includes pre-emptive measures to address the likelihood of trail-hunting becoming established in Scotland.
However, Colin Smyth said the bill doesn’t go far enough as it includes a licensing scheme that could give hunts a new way to get around the rules.
Colin Smyth has 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.
The local MSP criticised the Greens for “selling out” on animal welfare in the Bute House agreement with the SNP, by exempting field sports which means SNP MSPs can continue to vote in favour of hunting.
Colin Smyth said: “It’s 20 years since Parliament first voted in support of a ban on hunting with packs of dogs. Since then sadly a minority have been riding roughshod over both the letter and the spirit of the fox hunting ban, 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 and vote for licensing.
“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.
“The bill is the culmination of many years of reviews, consultations, debate and, unfortunately, delays.
“It is time to put the matter to bed. It is time to end the cruelty of hunting with dogs once and for all.”