LAST Tuesday marked the tenth anniversary of the passing of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 – the Act which outlawed traditional fox hunting and hare coursing in Scotland.
In Galloway, many areas have no hunt still in existence, except the Dumfries and Stewartry Hunt, which were out in the countryside on Boxing Day for their traditional meeting.
The Scottish Countryside Alliance said this week: “Legal and legitimate hare coursing has been lost. Fox hunting with hounds, however, continues to survive. Undoubtedly the hunting practised now by Scotland’s registered packs of fox hounds is not the same as prior to February 13, 2002, but, in all but one case, the packs, their infrastructure and the passionate hunting community are still in place now, 10 years later.
“The Scottish hunting community should be proud of their achievements. Having come through an all-encompassing campaign to save their sport and in some cases their livelihoods, they emerged from the fight on February 13, 2002, unsure of what the future held and mourning the loss of their traditions. Ten years later, we must recognise and commend the resilience of hunting folk – that we still have a form of fox hunting in Scotland is testament to the determination of the people involved.
“The SCA is proud to have worked along with hunting folk from all over Scotland over the past decade and we are humbled by their endeavours – including facing the challenges of law officers and court cases. Our hunting members should be extremely proud of the fact that, thanks to their efforts, we have a legacy of fox hunting in Scotland to pass on to future generations.”