Hunting with dogs: consultation analysis

Key themes to emerge from our consultation on the use of dogs to control foxes and other wild mammals in Scotland.

Annex 4: Identifying respondents who wanted a ban on hunting

The following approach was used to identify respondents who wanted a full ban on hunting with dogs:

  • All those who answered '0' in response to Question 3 were assumed to want a ban on all hunting with dogs.[20] (Question 3 asked for views on what the maximum number of dogs should be under any licensing scheme.)
  • All those who answered 'no limit' at Question 3 were categorised as 'does not request a ban'.
  • In all other cases (i.e. all those respondents who answered Question 3 with something other than '0' or 'no limit'), additional text from the full response was read by a member of the analytical team.[21] The approach used to identify those wanting / not requesting a ban for these respondents was as follows:
    • Where an explicit, definitive statement was made about banning / outlawing / making illegal the practice of all hunting / hunting with dogs / hunting any wild mammals, respondents were categorised as wanting a ban.
    • Where respondents did not say explicitly that they wanted a ban on all hunting with dogs but made a statement that the practice was barbaric / inhumane / should be consigned to history / that there is no place in a progressive country for this practice etc., a judgement was made about the respondent's overall stance on hunting. These cases were then reviewed by a second member of the team. If there was still any doubt about the intentions behind the comments, the respondent was not assumed to want a ban, and was classified as 'does not request a ban'.
    • Where respondents specifically said they wished to 'ban trail hunting' or 'ban hare coursing' without asking for a more general ban, the respondent was not assumed to want a ban, and was classified as 'does not request a ban'.

This approach led to 'tagging' 4,126 respondents (i.e. 43% of all respondents) as wanting a full ban on hunting with dogs.

The approach adopted was not precise, and there were many cases where a definitive adjudication could not be made. Additionally, a small number of respondents who were tagged because they answered '0' at Question 3 did not actually belong in this group (see footnote 20). On the other hand, there were fairly large numbers of respondents (who did not answer either '0' or 'no limit' at Question 3) who were categorised as 'does not request a ban' but whose response used words to the effect that they would 'prefer a ban' or that 'a complete ban would be better'. Overall, therefore, it is likely the actual number of respondents who wished to see a complete ban on hunting with dogs (had they been asked directly) is higher than the numbers reported in the tables in Chapters 3 to 6 of this report.



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