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26 December 2015, 12:07
Scottish ministers have announced the start of a review of Scotland's fox hunting laws.
Lord Bonomy has been given the role of ensuring current legislation protects foxes and other wild mammals while allowing for their control where needed.
The review will accept written evidence from February 1 until the end of March.
Environment minister Aileen McLeod said: "Scotland led the way in addressing animal welfare concerns with legislation in 2002 and we remain committed to ensuring the highest levels of welfare for our wild animals.
"I am pleased to announce that Lord Bonomy has agreed to carry out a review of our fox-hunting legislation in the new year.
"Lord Bonomy is very experienced in carrying out complex reviews and I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to take on this important role.''
Animal welfare charity OneKind said the The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 contains "loopholes'' and has done nothing to dent the popularity of Boxing Day fox-hunting in Scotland.
Mounted hunts are continuing as they did before the legislation was implemented, it claims, and changes should see fox hunting "banned once and for all''.
Charity director Harry Huyton said: "The law which was intended to end this barbaric practice has sadly failed due to a number of loopholes which have rendered it totally ineffective.
"Fox-hunting is supposedly banned in Scotland yet if you were to attend any meet in Scotland today it would be perfectly clear that little has changed since the law came into force in 2002.''
A recent survey by the Countryside Alliance predicted that about a quarter of a million people will turn out for annual Boxing Day hunts across the UK.