Scotland Votes to Ban Hunting with Dogs
EDINBURGH, Scotland, February 13, 2002 (ENS) - Animal welfare groups celebrated tonight as the Scottish Parliament voted to ban fox hunting with dogs. They said the historic decision will influence the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales.
Hunting with dogs in the United Kingdom has come under harsh criticism for the inhumane way in which the wild animals are killed.
Phyllis Campbell-McRae, UK country director for The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said, "This is an historic day for Scotland's wildlife and its young Parliament. The anti-fox hunting views of a majority of Scots, from both town and country, have been heard by Members of the Scottish Parliament. Hunting with dogs is a barbaric pastime, which has no place in a modern, civilized Scotland."
But pro-hunting groups like the Scottish Countryside Alliance say the ban will create job losses. There will be adverse effects on the welfare of horses and hounds, the alliance predicts.
In England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals campaign against hunting has entered a new stage to ensure that the government honors its hunting bill commitment.
John Rolls, RSPCA director of communications, said, "This marks a new phase in the campaign. We have officially begun the countdown to a ban on hunting with dogs. The arguments have all been won, public opinion is firmly on our side and people's patience is running out."
Senior MPs from the three main parties have joined forces to coordinate the countdown to a ban on hunting with dogs.
Labour MP Tony Banks said, "We have to deliver a ban on hunting. This is an issue of credibility for the government and the democratic accountability of MPs. The will of the House of Commons has to be enacted."