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Huntsman charged under Scotland’s Hunting With Dogs Act

Matthew Wilkinson, huntsman of the Jed Forest Hunt, has made history as the first man to be charged under Scotland’s Hunting With Dogs Act. A second man, David Every of the Berwickshire Hunt, was arrested then released while the police make further enquiries. The Hunting With Dogs (Scotland) Bill became an Act in March 2023, […]

The Muirburn Bill – an achievement but nowhere near the end

Yesterday Holyrood passed the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill, stating on their website that “Scotland’s wildlife will benefit from increased protection thanks to a new law passed by the Scottish Parliament.” The new law has been designed to implement the recommendations set out in the Werritty Review which was published in December 2019. Undoubtedly […]

Stage 2 of Scotland’s Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill brings snare ban closer

Holyrood’s Rural Affairs and Islands Committee met on 7 February to discuss amendments to Scotland’s Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill. The Bill is at stage 2, and the committee voted on an amendment, put forward by MSP Gillian Martin, which will make snare use illegal. Seven MSPs voted for the amendment, with two voting against […]

Sick gamekeeper filmed badger torture for social media

A Scottish gamekeeper set his dogs on foxes and badgers, filming the attacks to make money. Like other men before him, his desire to brag about his acts is what incriminated him. Ryan Martin, from Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire, was convicted on 5 December. He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three dogs under his […]

Scotland: Shooting industry fails to bully politicians over snares

It’s welcome news that the Scottish government has announced that it will push ahead with a change in the law that would fully ban snares. As we previously reported, the shooting industry had been lobbying hard so that it could continue using the torture devices. Gamekeepers and landowners had been trying to influence legislation in […]

Snares: Scottish government must not be hoodwinked by gamekeepers

As the Scottish government considers a ban on the use of snares, land owners and gamekeepers have been making their pro-snare, pro-cruelty voices loudly heard. Recognising what an irretrievably appalling image snares have, they’re trying to rebrand the devices by giving them a friendlier name: humane cable restraints. A government consultation, asking the public for […]

Scotland’s hunting ban will finally be enforced

Scotland’s anti-hunting activists are celebrating as the government’s hunting ban will finally be enforced from 3 October. The Hunting With Dogs (Scotland) Bill was passed in January 2023, and it became an Act on 7 March 2023. But despite this, saboteurs have been catching hunters pursuing foxes red-handed. This is because until now, NatureScot has […]

Scotland has banned fox hunting, so why are cubs being hunted right now?

Scotland passed the Hunting With Dogs (Scotland) Bill in January 2023, and it became an Act on 7 March 2023. So why are saboteurs catching hunters pursuing foxes red-handed? On 6 September, Scottish Borders Hunt Sabs posted footage, taken from their drone, of the Berwickshire Hunt. The video shows some riders surrounding woodland with hounds […]

Scotland: Avian Flu confirmed in pheasants

Dead pheasants Cornwood shoot

On August 11th, the day before the ‘Inglorious 12th’ and the start of grouse shooting, we reported that a case of highly-infectious Avian Flu had been detected in a Red Grouse. Given how Red Grouse are bred to create a ‘surplus’ for shooting (in other words, bred at far denser population levels than would occur […]

Scotland snare ban: Join Chris Packham in making your voice heard

Chris Packham has joined animal rights charities to celebrate “a potential win for wildlife” as Scotland moves closer to banning snares. As we reported on 22 August, the Scottish government is asking for views on whether the use of snares should be “banned as part of new plans to protect vulnerable wildlife”. The consultation will […]

Scottish government consulting on snare ban and extended powers for SSPCA

The Scottish government is asking for views on whether the use of snares should be “banned as part of new plans to protect vulnerable wildlife” and whether inspectors from the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) “should be given extra legislative powers to investigate wildlife crime”. Both proposals are part of […]

Scottish Water looks set to ban grouse shooting on their land

The gory blood sport of grouse shooting is well underway in the UK. The rich are whipping out their rifles in delight, eager to murder defenceless birds. But it’s one blow after another for grouse shooters in Scotland, as Scottish Water has stated that it will issue no new leases on its estate. The company […]

Scottish Greens describe grouse shooting as ‘festival of violence’

The barbaric grouse shooting season began on 12 August, the ‘Inglorious 12th’. The Scottish Green Party has sent a clear message to gamekeepers and wealthy shooters that the blood sport is not welcome in Scotland. The Scottish Greens’ rural affairs minister, Ariane Burgess MSP, didn’t mince her words when she said: “There is nothing glorious […]

Scottish court convicts Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt supporter of assaulting a hunt saboteur

John Thomson, Duke of Buccleuch's Hunt supporter, spits at member of Scottish Borders Hunt Saboteurs

Jedburgh Sheriff Court convicted a Duke of Buccleuch’s Hunt supporter of assaulting a hunt saboteur during a meet in September 2022. Local paper Border Telegraph reported on 8 July that John Thomson plead guilty to two charges after spitting, shouting, and threatening to kill a member of Scottish Borders Hunt Saboteurs. The incident happened during […]

Cat found nearly ‘cut in two’ after a snare wrapped around his stomach

The injury caused by a snare to Harry the cat

When Harry arrived back at his home after five days, his return should have delighted Marion Brownlie. Instead, she was shocked. Harry, a farm cat living with Brownlie, had a deep welt across his abdomen. And it was the result of a snare. Brownlie lives in St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire, on Scotland’s eastern coast. Harry had […]

Court bans hare coursing offenders from keeping dogs for 11 years

Aberdeen Sheriff Court has banned two men from keeping dogs for a total of 11 years. It comes after video footage caught the pair hare coursing. According to AberdeenLive, a witness filmed Steven McDonald and Richard Hanratty using lurchers to course a hare in Mosstown Field, Udny, in August 2019. The witness also saw two […]

Scotland: Gamekeeper guilty of shooting Sparrowhawk on grouse moor

On 31 March 2023 Rory Parker (24), pleaded guilty to shooting a Sparrowhawk whilst employed as a gamekeeper on the notorious Moy Estate, Inverness – becoming the 56th gamekeeper to be convicted of raptor persecution offences in Scotland since 1990. As their name suggests, Sparrowhawks are one of the UK’s smallest birds of prey and […]

Scotland: Red Kite shot on Lochindorb Estate

Police Scotland have appealed for information after a witness reported the shooting of a Red Kite on a grouse shooting estate near Grantown-on-Spey. The Kite was recovered by the Scottish SPCA but the gunshot injuries were so severe the bird had to be euthanised. Red Kites have full legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside […]

Hunt sabs ‘ecstatic beyond belief’ as Lanarkshire & Renfrewshire Foxhounds folds

Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire foxhounds closing meet

Hunt Saboteurs are celebrating as news comes in that another hunt in Scotland has folded. The Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Foxhounds announced its closure just six weeks after Scotland changed its hunting laws. The country now houses just eight foxhound packs and one minkhound pack. Glasgow Hunt Saboteurs, which has consistently sabbed the hunt, said on […]

VICTORY: Fife Foxhounds fold after 267 years

Some hunt supporters have said the Fife Foxhounds are planning to fold following the recent passage of Scotland’s new anti-hunting bill. However, the link may not be as direct as it first appears. On 29 January, a person by the name of Leslie Bain posted to Facebook that the “Fife Foxhounds are disbanding”. Bain attributed […]

VICTORY: Scotland bans hunting with dogs

Late in the evening on 24 January 2023, the Scottish parliament voted to pass the Hunting With Dogs (Scotland) Bill after a seven hour debate. The Act will make it illegal to flush out a wild animal with more than two dogs, effectively ending hunting with hounds as we know it. Campaigners have described it […]

‘Royal loophole’ could protect hunts from Scotland’s new anti-hunting laws

Hunts on royal land are protected by a loophole in the new Scottish anti-hunting bill, the Scottish Greens claim. And it’s a result of a special exclusion written into the power-sharing agreement underpinning the current government. Scotland’s Hunting With Dogs Bill was introduced for parliamentary debate in February 2022. Although the nation already has a […]

The Scottish government’s advisory group just came out strongly for a snare ban

Snare found at Hilborough Estate

Snares are cruel and indiscriminate, raising “significant welfare concerns”, an advisory board to the Scottish government has just announced. As a result, the board is recommending a blanket snare ban in Scotland. On 9 December, the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission (SAWC) published its position paper on using snares to trap wildlife. The evaluation was based […]