Section 1A — Exception: stalking and flushing from cover

Part of Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:00 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Mike Rumbles Mike Rumbles Liberal Democrat 3:00 pm, 13th February 2002

What I wanted to say about amendments in the previous group is linked with amendment 42. It is a pity that, thanks to amendment 41, in the name of Dr Sylvia Jackson, the words "or a dog" have been removed from section 1A. Now, all we have to rely on to maintain the work of the Scottish Gamekeeper's Association is section 1A(1A), which Scott Barrie and others are trying to remove.

I was appalled, to be frank, by Scott Barrie's speech. Section 1A(1A) has absolutely nothing whatever to do with fox baiting. Fox baiting is illegal. If he had listened to the debates in the Rural Development Committee, Scott Barrie would know that we spent two years going over that. I am appalled to hear such speeches from members.

The vote on amendment 42 is one of the most important votes that we will take this afternoon. If we vote to support amendment 42, we undermine the work of Scottish gamekeepers. All Tricia Marwick's talk about working closely with Scottish gamekeepers seems to be a load of tosh.

There will be arguments that section 1A(1B) is sufficient, but it is not. Section 1A(1B) refers to a dog killing

"wild mammals in the course of those activities" by accidental means, in effect.

It is important that we keep section 1A(1A) in the bill. What is the section about? It says that when

"a person is using a dog in connection with pest control activities and intends to kill wild mammals in the course of those activities only by lawful means, that person does not contravene section 1(1) by using the dog to kill a wild mammal which has been flushed to a gun and has escaped without being shot, or been shot but not killed."

Amendment 42 would add cruelty to the bill—something that the Rural Development Committee has been striving to remove from the bill. I urge members not to support amendment 42.