The fall out from the leaked Hunting Office webinars has crossed the border into Scotland, with a report in today’s Daily Record quoting Renfrewshire Council’s elected member Audrey Doig asking the local authority to “reaffirm its position that no fox hunting activities will be allowed to occur on any land or property owned or managed by Renfrewshire Council“.
Fox hunting is of course illegal in Scotland. It was banned under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, a law which also paved the way to the 2004 Hunting Act which banned hunting with dogs in England and Wales. But as the campaigning wildlife charity One Kind points out, “Before the ban in 2002 there were ten operational mounted fox hunts in Scotland. There are still ten today. According to the hunts themselves, they kill about 800 foxes every year.”
One of those hunts is the notorious Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Foxhounds, which still hunts across areas such as Houston and Howwood.
The Glasgow Hunt Sabs regularly report the illegal activities of the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire on their Facebook page. This includes a savage attack in October this year on a lone hunt monitor by hunt followers (this was covered in the Daily Record under the headline “Disabled man viciously battered by vile blood sport thugs after he protests at Scots fox hunt“).
The same hunt hit the headlines in March this year when photographs taken by Glasgow Hunt Sabs were published which showed hounds belonging to the hunt trapped on barbed-wire fences. This disgraceful incident was reported by The Gazette under the headline “Horrific footage captured by Glasgow Hunt Sabs in Renfrewshire“. The Scottish SPCA served an animal welfare notice to a huntsman involved in the incident.
In November this year yet another dog used by the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire was photographed (again by the Glasgow Hunt Sabs) caught on another barbed-wire fence. Jounalists at the Daily Record didn’t even try to hide their disgust, reporting the incident under the headline, “Distressing video shows fox hunt hound’s leg ripped apart on barbed wire fence in ‘barbaric’ Scots countryside scene“, with the sub-heading “The hound is heard yelping in pain as it is stuck on the razor sharp wire“.
You might ask why on earth haven’t councillors acted earlier? A good question, but at least action is being taken now – action that without the ‘smokescreen’ and ‘soft underbelly’ revelations contained with the Hunting Office webinars being leaked online may never have taken place at all.
Will this stop the hunts? Perhaps not, but this is yet more proof that contrary to the deluded beliefs of the so-called ‘Countryside Alliance’ hunting is hugely unpopular, and it’s very evident that the public – and councils – are increasingly determined to rid the countryside of these thugs and criminals.
- If you’d like to support the Glasgow Hunt Sabs please donate via Paypal at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/GlsgwHuntSabs
Renfrewshire Council chiefs urged to reaffirm opposition to fox hunting
Council bosses are being urged to reiterate their opposition to fox hunting after residents have raised concerns the controversial activity is still happening in Renfrewshire’s villages.
Elected member Audrey Doig has lodged a motion at today’s full council meeting – seconded by her colleague Natalie Don – asking the local authority to “reaffirm its position that no fox hunting activities will be allowed to occur on any land or property owned or managed by Renfrewshire Council”.
Residents in Houston have highlighted hunting is still taking place on some council-owned land, and the SNP member is now urging officers to investigate the issue.
The Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt is the most well-known one in the region and is still held across areas such as Houston and Howwood.
Hunting with hounds was effectively banned in Scotland in 2002, but dogs can still be used for flushing out foxes to be shot as a pest control measure.
Councillor Doig said: “I decided to consult with Councillor Don and put this motion forward because constituents of mine in the Houston area have contacted me raising concerns fox hunting is still happening on land owned by the council.
“If this is the case then I call on officers to investigate it and ensure it is stopped.
“I am against fox hunting for sport completely. However, I do have constituents who are farmers and I understand the need to protect livestock from attack.
“It is the existing policy of the council to stop hunting on council land but perhaps it is time to reaffirm this and to send a message to individuals or groups that it is illegal, not acceptable and that we will act swiftly to stamp it out.
“I would appeal to constituents who know this is going on under the radar to contact me.”Stephanie Brawn, Paisley Daily Express, 17 Dec 2020