18 November 1999
Scots parliament to pay hunt-case costs

THE Scottish parliament has agreed to give legal backing to Labour MSP Lord Watson in his court battle against the pro-hunt lobby.

Countryside campaigners earlier secured a temporary delay on the introduction of his Bill to ban foxhunting in Scotland.

The pro-hunt lobby took their battle to the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh, where lawyers for Lord Watson agreed not to introduce the legislation until a full hearing could be arranged to challenge his right to bring it before the Scottish parliament.

Meanwhile the claim by the Countryside Alliance that 16,000 jobs will be lost from a ban on hunting is challenged in the columns of The Guardian.

A study by the department of geography at Newcastle University comes to the conclusion that the Alliances claim is exaggerated.

The British government has commissioned a study on the impact of a foxhunting ban on the countryside. The completion of the study is a condition of its support for a private members bill to ban foxhunting.