Hunting with Dogs Act now law in Scotland

A spaniel running

The Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act 2023 is now law, and BASC is urging members to familiarise themselves with the new provisions when carrying out fox and rabbit control with dogs.

Under the Act, it is now illegal for a person use more than two dogs to search for, chase or stalk a wild mammal without a licence. Professional foot-packs seeking to use more than two dogs will now be required to apply to NatureScot to be considered for a licence

If conservation is the primary purpose for using more than two dogs to carry out wild mammal control, an ‘Environmental Benefit’ licence application should be lodged.

BASC is advising members to apply early for licences and ensure they provide detailed applications to assist with expediency. 

BASC's position

From the outset, BASC raised significant concerns about the licensing regime, drawing media attention to the unintended consequences on rough shooting, and arguing that the scheme must be more practical and workable.

BASC will continue to raise concerns over the proposed licensing scheme during its enactment. It is incumbent on NatureScot to ensure that licence applications are processed in a timely manner.

NatureScot has committed to keeping its licensing processes under review, and BASC will be closely monitoring the process and the effectiveness of the scheme.

Full details of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Act can be found here.

Licensing applications form and guidance can be found here.