Two of Scotland’s huntsmen have been questioned by police after being accused of deliberately hunting a fox with dogs.
Trevor Adams, master of foxhounds for the Buccleuch hunt, and Rory Innes, master of the Jedburgh hunt, have both been told to appear before the procurator fiscal under new hunting legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament last August.
Mr Adams was reported to the police following an event on 16 October last year, while a complaint was filed against Mr Innes after a hunt was held on1 March this year.
Both men will have a hearing before the procurator fiscal at the end of May, who will then decide whether to take the matter further.
These cases will be the first serious test of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act in the courts. Although two teenagers were charged under the Act earlier this year for chasing foxes and badgers with dogs, it is the first time an organised mounted hunt has faced criminal procedures.
Alan Murray, of the Scottish Countryside Alliance said that both huntsmen adhered to the legality of the Act, with the co-operation and knowledge of the police.
“If anything wrong was going on, the police would know about it. We are amazed that the cases have taken so long tobe prosecuted. There are grey areas of the Act which need to be clarified,’ he said.
The SCA’s own legal challenge to the Act is due to be heard in the Inner Court of Session in Edinburgh on 5 June.