The operation and enforcement of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 is to be strengthened, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has announced.
In response to a review by the Rt Hon Lord Bonomy, the Scottish Government will invite key stakeholders to work together to develop a code of practice for hunts and explore the potential for a new monitoring scheme.
Ministers will also consult on Lord Bonomy’s proposed changes to the existing legislation. These include:
- The introduction of vicarious liability and reverse burden of proof provisions
- An extension to the time limit for bringing prosecutions
- The removal of inconsistencies and the improvement of definitions.
Ms Cunningham said:
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Lord Bonomy once again for his valuable contribution to the debate about hunting with dogs.
“I am determined to ensure the highest possible levels of animal welfare and Lord Bonomy’s recommendations will help us build on the advances already achieved.
“This package of measures will substantially improve the language used in the existing legislation, address inconsistencies in the law, and strengthen the scrutiny and accountability of hunts."
The appointment of Lord Bonomy to undertake the review was announced on 26 December 2015. The remit of the review was to ascertain whether the 2002 Act was providing a sufficient level of protection for wild mammals, while at the same time allowing for their effective and humane control where necessary.
Almost 300 submissions were received following a call between 1 February and 31 March 2016. Those for which consent was received were published on 24 October.
To view the full report, please visit: http://gov.scot/Publications/2016/11/9965