Under the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act 2023, there would now be a two-dog limit for flushing wild mammals to guns, effectively putting an end to fox hunting packs.

The Act replaced the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which had allowed fox hunting to continue much as it did before due to loopholes in the legislation that were exploited by fox hunting packs. The main loophole was the exception to allow an unlimited number of dogs to ‘flush foxes to guns’.

Pack of hounds used for fox hunting

The new Act also banned trail hunting, which had been used as a cover story and allowed fox hunting to continue in England.

OneKind welcomed the strengthening of the legislation but was not supportive of the exceptions to the Bill, which would:

  • Allow the use of two dogs to flush wild mammals in certain circumstances or use more than two dogs under licence in exceptional circumstances.
  • Allow the use of one dog underground, to try to flush foxes out.