The SNP is currently working on its manifesto for 2016, and NFA recently met with some of its staff, to discuss the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002. NFA believes it is vital that this legislation is reviewed, and changes made to ensure foxes, and other wildlife in Scotland are protected from unnecessary suffering.
We were pleased to learn that the Programme for Government states a commitment to reviewing the Act, in keeping with Angus Robertson’s statement on 13 July, when he announced that the SNP would be voting against David Cameron’s attempts to weaken the Hunting Act in England and Wales.
NFA also took the opportunity to discuss the inhumane, and extremely costly badger cull, which is currently happening again in Gloucestershire and Somerset, against top scientific advice and evidence, as well as being rolled out to Dorset, where bTB rates were already falling. Given that David Cameron’s government appears to be committed to rolling out the badger culls wherever it sees fit, in the face of all evidence, NFA discussed with the SNP how this could eventually become an issue which will directly affect badgers in Scotland, if perturbation caused by culling results in badgers crossing the border.
Other areas of animal welfare were discussed, which NFA believes the Scottish government should focus on, such as the purchasing, and the treatment of domestic animals, and how acts of animal cruelty should be taken more seriously in the eyes of the law.
It was an optimistic and engaging meeting, and NFA look forward to having similar discussions with those they have approached in the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Green Party, and the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.