The BBC has acquired secret video footage of a fox hunt in the Scottish Borders, which has actually caused two males being accused of wild animal’s offences.Campaigners claim the ban on searching with dogs is routinely being flouted.
Hunt supporters insist they take terrific care to respect the law.
The Jedforest Hunt was secretly filmed by the League Against Cruel Sports in February. The males who have actually been charged are because of appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at a later date.
The case comes as Lord Bonomy carries out an evaluation of the law on hunting in Scotland.
Click here to enjoy David Miller’s film examining the arguments on both sides of the fox searching debate.
In 2002, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation that prohibited searching with canines.
Packs of hounds can still legally be used.
The law allows hunts to use hounds to drive foxes from cover and to waiting gunmen.
The League Against Cruel Sports states its hidden surveillance shows that did not happen in this case.
The video footage appears to show a fox being pursued by a pack of hounds on two occasions.
On the second celebration, the animal disappears from view while still being pursued.
‘Hunting, not flushing’.
Describing the video, the League’s director in Scotland, Robbie Marsland, said: “That’s searching, that’s not flushing with guns and we didn’t see that fox again, I’m scared.”.
MrMarsland is calling for the law to be tightened up.
He said: “We believe there are some fairly little modifications that can be made to the legislation which would stop it being possible to take a pack of hounds out into the countryside and chase and kill wild animals.
“The parliament wouldn’t have to stress over it anymore and the Scottish people would know and be safe in the understanding that fox hunting was really prohibited in Scotland.
“Scotland would be the top place in the UK to truly prohibit fox searching.”.
The Scottish Countryside Alliance says huntsmen go to fantastic lengths to guarantee they stay within the law.
Its director, Jamie Stewart, told BBC Scotland: “We would hope quite that Lord Bonomy will review and acknowledge that the act is enforceable and certainly imposed.
“There’s been 210 cases since 2002.
“It’s got a 57 % conviction rate, so the general public must feel confident that the cops have the ability to identify areas where there is criminal activity and prosecute those who’re responsible.
“The procedures within the installed packs is such that there has actually not been an effective prosecution against them simply because there’s been no proof of any unlawful action.”.
A cop’s spokesperson stated: “Police Scotland has charged 2 men, aged 23 and 65, under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.
“Both males will appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at a later date.
“We work carefully with a variety of partners to take on wild animal’s criminal offense.
“We would advise members of the public to report any suspicious activity to us as rapidly as possible to allow us to investigate thought criminal activities quickly.”.
The Jedforest Hunt informed BBC Scotland it would be inappropriate to comment at this phase in proceedings.