South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour Rural Affairs spokesperson Colin Smyth has branded the SNP’s decision to vote down attempts to remove loopholes from foxhunting legislation a “betrayal”, claiming the Greens are “toothless” in government.
Last week at Stage 2 of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill, the Rural Affairs Committee voted down attempts by the Green Party and Scottish Labour to remove a loophole allowing hunts with packs of dogs to continue if the hunt obtains a licence, exempting them from the proposed two dog limit.
There have been warnings that this licensing scheme threatens to undermine the new laws, which were introduced to close the loopholes and finally deliver a real ban on fox hunting.
Labour said it was “humiliating” for the Greens to fail to secure the backing of their SNP coalition partners on an issue they claim is important to them.
Colin Smyth said: “The SNP’s decision to team up with the Tories to water down the new ban on fox hunting is a complete betrayal.
“This humiliating vote shows how toothless the Greens are in government.
“They have sold out their principles time and time again in order to prop up the SNP, but they have failed to secure their backing on this important issue.
“We need a real ban on fox hunting to end this inhumane practice once and for all – not more half-measures and loopholes.
“The bill as it stands allows hunting with packs of dogs under licence to continue. Labour are clear that you cannot license cruelty, and we will keep fighting to make sure this law is truly fit for purpose.”