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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 20:50 GMT
Countryside 'betrayed' by hunt ban
Protester's placard
Campaigners have vowed to challenge the ban
Countryside campaigners have described the ban on hunting with dogs in Scotland as "political vandalism".

Protesters said they had been betrayed by the parliament and vowed to take the battle on retaining hunting to the courts.

But the man who introduced the bill to ban hunting with dogs in Scotland said he was "delighted" that it had been passed.

Glasgow Cathcart MSP Mike Watson, who started the process of outlawing mounted fox-hunts with a members' bill two years ago, said it was a "good day" for the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Watson, who is now tourism, culture and sport minister in the Scottish Executive, said: "It's the end of a long process and it shows that the Scottish Parliament can legislate after considering a members' bill in detail."

Allan Murray, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: "Today rural Scotland has been betrayed by the Scottish Parliament.

"Our politicians have made it clear that the voice of rural people, in their view, counts for nothing."

He said Scotland's new political elite were prepared to see their fellow Scots out of work and home "without a penny of compensation".

Contradictions and incompatibility

"We will obtain a full legal assessment of the bill. You can be assured that every line of this legislation will be dissected by the best legal brains in the country in an effort to expose its flaws, contradictions and incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights", he said.

Noel Collins of the Rural Rebels said it was "a sad day for rural Scotland".

However, he vowed that their campaign would continue and predicted that support for the Rural Rebels would grow.

He said: "Rural Scotland now has a big problem and that problem is not going to go away.

Huntsmen and pack
Country campaigners have vowed to fight on
"I think the campaign will grow, but I encourage people to reflect rather than react. The fight will go on, and the fight must go on, until rural rights are respected."

Mike Hobday of the League Against Cruel Sports said he was "delighted" by the vote and called on Westminster to follow suit.

He said: "It's what we've campaigned for over many years. It's long been clear that the majority of people right across Britain are opposed to fox hunting and we're absolutely delighted that the Scottish Parliament has been the first one to take this step.

"It gives a very clear signal to Tony Blair and the Government that where Scotland leads, England should follow."

Background and analysis of one of the most contentious issues in British politics

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The Scottish ban

Analysis

Background

TALKING POINT
See also:

13 Feb 02 | Scotland
13 Feb 02 | Scotland
13 Feb 02 | UK Politics
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