Pair charged after police study footage of Borders hunt

Scottish Hunting Exposé 2016

Two men have been charged with wildlife offences after video footage emerged of a hunt in the Scottish Borders.

The League Against Cruel Sports said the film of the Jed Forest Hunt shows hounds being sent after fleeing foxes.

The charity has previously claimed at least half of Scotland's registered hunts continue to flout the 2002 ban on fox hunting with dogs.

The law states dogs may only be used in some circumstances to flush foxes from below ground or enclosed spaces, a practice known as "flushing to guns".

The footage was passed to Police Scotland and two men aged 23 and 65 have been arrested.

Robbie Marsland, director of League Against Cruel Sports in Scotland, said: "Our latest footage strongly suggests that many of Scotland's hunts are trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

"This is not an issue of poor police enforcement. It is all too easy for Scottish hunts to ride a coach and horses through this well-intended law.

"We are convinced that hunts are using flushing to guns with a full pack of hounds in an attempt to provide a false alibi.

"A number of simple changes to the law would put an end to the spectre of packs of hounds being spurred on to chase and kill foxes across the Scottish countryside."

A review of Scotland's fox hunting laws is under way, with the deadline for written evidence submissions on Thursday.

A police spokesman said: "Police Scotland has charged two men under Section 1(1) of The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.

"Both men will appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at a later date.

"We work closely with a range of partners to tackle wildlife crime. We would urge members of the public to report any suspicious activity to us as quickly as possible to allow us to investigate suspected crimes promptly."