In England and Wales, the government has published proposed rules to allow foxes to be hunted by dogs, so long as it is “appropriate” for the terrain and is done “efficiently” to protect other animals
The Scottish National Party is under intense pressure from the anti-hunting lobby to break with tradition and vote against the changes, even though they only apply to England, and even though Scotland already has the exact same law that is being suggested should be extended to England and Wales.
Since a core principle of the Scottish National Party is that Scotland is Not England and Wales, the folks in the SNP do not appear to be in any mind to intervene, making a change in the law a bit more likely. No formal decision has yet been taken by the Scottish National Party, however, and it could change its position after studying the amendment, which was only published Thursday morning.
Cameron and the MPs are not moving to have the House of Commons pass legislation that prevents Scottish MPs from voting on matters affecting only England -- an idea that was already in the works, and has been moved up in the que.
The SNP flip flop seems to have a great deal less to do with fox hunting than with Nicola Sturgeon needing to prove to David Cameron that she and her party are not irrelevant. It is also, perhaps, a spur to the British side not to hold Scotland so close. The SNP want to be free and independent (with England and Wales' checkbook, markets, and military at their instant disposal, of course), but the English spent a lot of money trying to woo them back into the fold. Now Nicola Sturgeon has reminded them that a wolf in the fold can create a great deal of trouble. That is a lesson that will not be forgotten, but how it strengthens Scotland's economic and political hand going forward is hard to see. It would be one thing if Nicola Sturgeon were willing to break her pick on a matter of prime importance to Scotland, but in this case her actions paint her as simply another flip-flopping partisan without a core set of beliefs or standards, and one whose word is a great deal less than her bond. But does it put her name on the front page for a few days? It does. But at Scotland's price.
It should be remembered that the ban was not won by vote.
The "ban" has always been a extra-legal "solution," that has had little do to with concern for fox (most of which are killed by distemper, mange, and vehicle impacts), and a great deal to do with political theatre
The ban began in February of 2005, but "fell at first fence." During the first week of the ban, 91 fox were accounted for, while during the second week of the ban the 156 hunts registered with the Masters of Foxhounds Association killed 157 foxes.
Pest control terrier work is also still being done, albeit it now requires written permission from the land owners -- not too onerous a constraint -- and only two terriers at a time can be in the field (and only one in the hole).
One perversion of the current law is that bolting a fox out of its den to run another day is no longer be allowed, nor is bagging and relocating fox to a more suitable location away from homes and hens. Under current law, promoted by the Animal Rights lunatics, all fox worked with terriers must be now be shot as they exit the hole, or netted and then shot.
Meanwhile, the folks who profess such a great love of fox have done nothing to control mange or distemper in the wild fox population, nor have they pushed for more road culverts and wildlife passageways to save them from vehicle impact, nor have they campaigned for habitat protection at any significant level.
And of course, they wouldn't, because the fox hunting debate has never been about fox, and it has always been about an ancient class war. The goal of "the anti's" is not to save fox, but to stick it in the eye of those who they see as representing an older landed order, and never mind if the folks on the horses and in the hedges are actually school teachers, brick masons, architects, and cook book authors. "