Lord Watson’s anti-hunting bill is presently under consideration by the Scottish Parliment

The Countryside Alliance’s London office has joined forces with the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) team in Edinburgh to step up the campaign against the Watson Bill.

The bill has been returned to the Rural Development Committee (RDC) of the Scottish Parliament, despite the fact that this committee, after 18 months of evidence gathering, advised that it should not proceed. The RDC is due to begin its line-by-line consideration this afternoon.

More than 40 amendments to the bill have been tabled by MSPs, including Labour member for Dumfries Elaine Murray’s proposal that a Wild Mammals Authority be set up to licence the legitimate use of dogs for pest control.

The RDC is likely to complete consideration of the bill within a number of weeks, at which point it will return to the Scottish Parliament for stage three debate, consideration of the amendments and a final vote on whether or not it can become law.

Read full story in this week’s (1 November) Horse & Hound magazine, or click here to subscribe.