Scotland may put ban on fox hunting

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SCOTLAND COULD ban fox hunting before the rest of Britain through a Private Member's Bill in the Scottish Parliament.

The country's 11 hunts could be abolished by the millennium if a member of the Scottish Parliament pushes through a bill outlawing hunting with hounds, the League Against Cruel Sports predicted yesterday.

A similar strategy failed at Westminster because of filibustering. Members of the Scottish Parliament are about three-quarters in favour of abolition and procedures in the Scottish chamber mean Westminster-style stalling tactics could not scupper a bill in the same way. David Coulthread, the league's campaign manager, said: "There is a clear majority of MSPs opposed to hunting and public opinion is on our side. If a Private Member's Bill is introduced early on, I think there is no reason why hunting shouldn't be illegal by the millennium in Scotland. We think there is a good chance that hunting will be banned there before the rest of the UK."

Only about 2-3,000 people were involved in hunting in Scotland. That was much fewer than in England, so opposition would not be so strong, he added.