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Hundreds of people turn out for fox-shooting hunts

All eleven of Scotland's fox hunts were out yesterday on the biggest day of the Scottish hunting calendar.

One hunt, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, gave up the chase because of inclement weather but last night the Countryside Alliance said each meet had attracted up to 100 supporters and observers. In total, more than four hundred riders turned out across Scotland.

The Berwickshire hunt met in Duns village square where it involved more than fifty riders and around 100 spectators.

The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 made the traditional form of hunting an offence.

Foxes are now flushed from cover so they can then be shot, rather than killed by dogs.

Jamie Stewart, the Countryside Alliance's director for Scotland, said: "The Scottish hunting community are rightly proud of their achievements.

"Having come through an all-encompassing campaign fighting to save the sport and in many cases livelihoods, they emerged from the fight on February 13, 2002, blooded but unbeaten.

"We must recognise and commend the resilience of hunting folk - the fact that we still have a form of mounted fox control in Scotland is testament to the determination of the people involved."

The Alliance has said evidence shows that three times as many foxes have been killed since the introduction of guns to fox hunting.

Since the act was introduced, new hunts have been formed, including the Strathappin Foxhounds and the Dumfriesshire and Stewartry Hunt.

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