Fox hunting loopholes must be closed to put a stop to all “cruel” killings by hunts with dogs, the Scottish Greens have said.
Although fox hunting with dogs was banned in Scotland in 2002, an unlimited number of dogs are still allowed to chase foxes from cover so they can be shot.
But the Scottish Greens have now pledged to push for the loophole to be closed and all other exemptions ended, to completely ban fox hunting.
Candidate Alison Johnstone said: “Most people think fox hunting is already banned in Scotland, but loopholes in the law mean that hunting continues much as it did.
“It is my intention to close these loopholes and end all hunting with dogs for good.
“When I consulted on my bill proposal to protect Scotland’s foxes and hares it received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public, but the job is only half done.
“Protections for mountain hares came into force in March, but the cruel chasing and killing of foxes with dogs still continues.
“Let’s put an end to it after May.”
Ms Johnstone, the party’s top list candidate for the Lothian region at the Holyrood elections, added: “A strong group of Scottish Green MSPs in the next parliament could do so much more to protect Scotland’s wildlife.
“We are in a nature emergency, which is why we are asking people to vote like our future depends on it.”