(153)  Human rights and fox-hunting

The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill, which provides for the abolition of fox-hunting with packs of dogs, was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 13 February 2002.  The Bill will now receive consideration from the Advocate General, the Lord Advocate and the Attorney General as to whether it is within legislative competence (Scotland Act 1998, s 33).  Each has four weeks from the date of passage to decide whether or not to refer the Bill to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.  The fox-hunting lobby has expressed the view that the Bill contravenes Convention rights under Article 8 (respect for private life) and Article 1 of the First Protocol to the ECHR (right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions).  Part of the argument is that jobs (and associated housing and other property) will be lost without compensation under the Bill.