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Friday, 1 February, 2002, 13:19 GMT
Hunt Bill hits more trouble
Anti-hunt protesters
Parliament has been lobbied by both sides in the debate
The proposed law to ban hunting with dogs in Scotland has been branded "unworkable" by a parliamentary committee convener.

The Protection of Wild Mammals Bill, introduced nearly two years ago, appears not to outlaw Scotland's 10 traditional mounted hunts.

This is despite an 83-34 vote by MSPs last September in favour of a ban.

The loophole emerged as the Bill's sponsor, Labour MSP Mike Watson, moved a series of detailed amendments in the rural development committee.

These exempt gamekeepers and hill packs from the ban on hunting with dogs.

People accompanying them on horseback would also be excluded from the legislation.

The committee convenor, Alex Fergusson, described the Bill as a "mess" and confirmed MSPs' view that it was "unworkable".

Mr Watson and its co-sponsor Tricia Marwick intend to move a series of last-minute amendments which they say will close all the loopholes.

The legislation is due to be passed on 13 February.

See also:

12 Dec 01 | Scotland
Safety warning for hunt ban MSPs
19 Sep 01 | Scotland
Vote supports hunting ban
11 Jul 01 | Scotland
Hunting bill hits major setback
02 May 01 | Scotland
Hunting ban bill stumbles
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