The Kennel Club responds to Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill

On Tuesday 24 January, the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill was passed by 90 votes to 30 in the Scottish Parliament. The main provision of the Bill is to introduce a limit of two dogs for those hunting wild mammals in Scotland.
During the passage of the Bill through the Scottish Parliament, The Kennel Club raised a number of concerns and sought clarification on the potential impact of the Bill on those taking part in field trials, and otherwise taking part in recreational shooting with dogs.

It is the understanding of The Kennel Club that field trials conducted under the existing Kennel Club regulations will be fully compliant with the new Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill. The Scottish Government has committed to producing guidance to accompany the Bill and once this has been published The Kennel Club will provide a further update to the field trial community.

Dr Ed Hayes, Head of Public Affairs at The Kennel Club comments: “Throughout the passage of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill we have worked extensively to seek clarification and amendments to ensure that field trials were able to continue in Scotland. It is our understanding that field trials will remain fully compliant and legal under the new Bill in Scotland.

“We have welcomed the willingness of the Scottish Government and Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, Mairi McAllan, to engage with us during the passage of the Bill and look forward to further engagement during the development of the guidance which will accompany the new law.

“We now await publication of the guidance which will accompany the legislation to allow us to fully assess the impact of the Bill on those who shoot wild mammals with dogs in Scotland.”

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation has produced guidance and FAQs on the implications of the Bill on rough shooting, further information is available on their website.