Animal rights campaigners piled pressure on SNP MPs yesterday ahead of Wednesday’s vote on proposed changes to the hunting ban.
While the SNP has historically abstained on issues which only relate to England and Wales, League Against Cruel Sports Scotland director Robbie Marsland argued that the Tory plans would have an effect on Scotland.
He told the Star: “Cross-border hunts along the England and Wales border will mean that any legislation passed in Westminster will have an impact on hunts in Scotland, which is why we are calling on them to vote against these changes.”
If the amendments are passed, hunts will be able to use full packs of hounds to flush out foxes to be shot.
Critics argue that the changes, are vague and will make prosecution difficult.
This is already the case in Scotland, and Mr Marsland said that they had “followed hunts in Scotland, supposedly using packs of hounds to flush out foxes to be shot, and not a single gun was carried by hunt members.”
He spoke out as 56 SNP MPs met last night to discuss whether to abstain or vote against the changes.
Green MP Caroline Lucas, whose party sits with the SNP in Parliament, also called on her colleagues to vote to keep the ban.
She said: “The prospect of the hunting ban being rendered toothless is grave news for animal lovers across the country.
“If the current restrictions on hunting with packs of dogs are lifted, countless foxes will suffer painful deaths and injuries.”