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Opening meets attract large crowds to Scotland’s hunts

As the new season gets underway, Scotland's hunts are out in force with packs of hounds, offering a pest control service to local livestock and game managers and aiming to flush out foxes to waiting gunmen - as the law permits.

Countryside Alliance director for Scotland Jamie Stewart attended the Berwickshire hunt’s meet at Manderston House, Duns, Berwickshire on Saturday (2 November), where the field included his wife Clare and four-year-old son Ted (pictured).

Scotland's 10 hunts have all held opening meets over the past few weeks, and organisers reported the highest number of riders and supporters since hunting foxes with dogs was outlawed in 2002. 

Many of the hunts reported a take up in subscriptions from younger riders and this was reflected at the Berwickshire meet with several riders leading ponies and younger riders taking their place within the field.

“The Scottish hunting community is rightly proud of its achievements. Having come through an all-encompassing campaign fighting to save the sport and in many cases livelihoods, they emerged from the fight on February 13, 2002, blooded but unbeaten,” said Mr Stewart.

“The fact that we still have a form of fox hunting in Scotland is testament to the determination of the people involved.”

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