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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Hunt ban human rights challenge
Fox hounds in their kennels
Hunting with dogs was outlawed in Scotland in 2002
Scotland's ban on hunting with hounds is facing a fresh legal challenge.

A Devon huntsman is appealing against a 2003 judgement by Judge Lord Brodie that the new law does not breach supporters' human rights.

Brian Friend, who has a home in Kelso, is challenging the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Last week saw angry scenes at Westminster, as MPs voted to outlaw the hunting with dogs south of the border.

Mr Friend, 64, of Membury, Devon is a hunt supporter and member of the Union of Country Sports Workers.

He claimed Lord Brodie was "wrong on all the points of law" with which he dismissed his petition seeking a judicial review of the current law last year.

I submit that the activity of hunting is part of my private life - and in my case part of my family life. It is a cultural lifestyle
Brian Friend
Hunt supporter

The retired former Navy pilot condemned the current legislation as a "malicious" restriction on a group of people.

He told Lord MacLean and Ladies Paton and Smith that fox hunters had a tradition going back to the Iron Age and deserved to be protected as an ethnic group under race relations and European human rights legislation.

He said: "I submit that the activity of hunting is part of my private life and in my case part of my family life.

"We have a cultural tradition that goes back to the Iron Age.

"My lifestyle has just the same value as a gypsy's.

"It is a cultural lifestyle.

"It is a malicious and unlawful restriction on a group of people to which Labour MSPs have taken an unwarranted dislike."

Mr Friend and fellow union member Jeremy Whaley found out they had been unsuccessful in a challenge to have the ban on hunting with hounds in Scotland overturned in June last year.

Prison or fines

At a Court of Session hearing in January, Mr Friend claimed the ban violated the 1998 Human Rights Act and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Mr Friend, who is again representing himself in court, said he was not optimistic that the appeal would be successful.

But he said he was determined to take his case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

Scotland became the first part of the UK to ban fox-hunting when MSPs voted to pass a bill to outlaw hunting with dogs in February 2002.

Those found in breach of the legislation face six-month prison sentences or hefty fines.

The hearing is expected to last three days.

Pro-hunt protesters storm Commons
15 Sep 04  |  Politics
Hunting ban challenge is rejected
28 May 04  |  Scotland
Blair under pressure over hunting
19 May 04  |  Politics
Man is fined over killing of fox
19 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Timeline: Hunting row
21 Oct 03  |  Politics
Scots join pro-hunt march
22 Sep 02  |  Scotland


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