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Scotland's new fox hunting ban hailed as key milestone towards 'end of blood sports'

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New laws clamping down on hunting with dogs have been hailed as a major step towards “the end of blood sports” in Scotland.

MSPs backed legislation to bring in a two-dog limit for the use of dogs for hunting, other than certain limited circumstances subject to a new licensing scheme.But opponents insist the tough curbs will leave other vulnerable species as well as livestock open to attack from predators.

The Scottish Government said stronger laws were required to stop illegal hunts 20 years after a ban on fox hunting was first put in place.The Hunting with Dogs Bill aims to close loopholes which allow the practice of killing wild mammals - including foxes, rabbits and hares - with packs of dogs.

Scottish Greens rural affairs spokeswoman Ariane Burgess said the Bill hadn't gone far enough and still retained a handful of potential “loopholes for the privileged few.”However, she added: "This Act may not go as far as we would have liked - but the changes represent a significant step forward in protecting animals from harm.

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