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(Updated 19/7/01)

Report calls for Hunt Bill to be scrapped

LAST WEEK a committee of Scottish MPs recommended that the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill should be abandoned, saying it would be impossible to apply to all hunting with dogs and claiming that the use of terriers by gamekeepers and Scottish hill packs was often a necessary and humane form of pest control.

The final conclusions of the report gave pro-hunt supporters some hope but angered many MSPs who hoped the Scottish bill might prove the thin edge of a wedge that could be driven through English courts.

The Bill, which was sponsored by Lord Watson of Invergowrie, has provision, if adopted, for those found guilty of hunting to face six months in jail or a fine of £5000.

MSPs on the reviewing committee voted six to three in favour of the recommendations.

Meanwhile Tory leader in Scotland Mr David McLetchie said that he hoped the Scottish Parliament would take their advice and reject the bill as ‘unworkable’.