Scots huntsman's use of hounds was legal

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A huntsman won a test case when he was cleared yesterday of using a pack of hounds to hunt foxes, in breach of Scotland's anti-hunting legislation.

A huntsman won a test case when he was cleared yesterday of using a pack of hounds to hunt foxes, in breach of Scotland's anti-hunting legislation.

Trevor Adams, 46, from Melrose, was the first person to go on trial under the law, which was introduced in 2002 to outlaw the hunting of foxes with hounds. A member of Scotland's largest hunt, the Buccleuch, Mr Adams denied the charge and claimed the hounds were used to "flush" out foxes so they could be shot, in keeping with the terms of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act.

He was charged after complaints that he was deliberately hunting a fox with 20 dogs at Courthill, near Kelso, Roxburghshire, on 6 October.

The case revolved around evidence from a tenant farmer Ian Hutcheson, 50, who had refused Mr Adams' Fox Control Service entry to his land.

Under the controversial legislation, dogs can be used in "limited and defined" circumstances such as flushing out the animals if "realistic" arrangements had been made for shooting the fox once it had been forced to break cover.

* More than 250 packs of foxhounds, hare hounds, deer hounds and other hunts and clubs plan to meet as usual on 19 February - the day after the hunting ban comes into force in England and Wales. The Countryside Alliance said they intended to hunt within the law.