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A hunt supporter is taking his human rights challenge against the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 to the House of Lords.

Brian Friend launched his application seeking a judicial review in 2003, only for it to be rejected by both the Outer and Inner Houses of Scotland’s Court of Session.

Mr Friend, 67, a retired pilot who lives in Kelso and supports the Berwickshire pack in Scotland and the Cotley in England, said he was willing to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if the Law Lords did not grant a judicial review.

“Hunting is part of my life and lifestyle and it is my human right,” said Mr Friend, who this week presented a petition of appeal comprising 139 files of legal documents to the House of Lords.

He added: “The only way I think we can beat the politicians, apart from through a revolution, is by using the law.”

Mr Friend’s private challenge, costing “slightly over £70,000” to date, is being funded by the Union of Country Sports Workers, of which he is a member, and via private donations.

Countryside Alliance (CA) spokesman Tim Bonner said the CA decided not to pursue its own challenge to the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 after its human rights case was rejected by the Inner House of the Court of Session.

“The decision was taken in consultation with hunts in Scotland because we felt the prospects of success did not justify the extremely expensive process of taking the case further,” said Mr Bonner.

He added that the hunting ban in Scotland differed to England and Wales because it allowed full packs of hounds, as opposed to two, only to flush foxes to guns.

  • This news report was first published in Horse & Hound (12 October, ’06)