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The Daily Telegraph (Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent) - Thursday July 22nd 1999.

HEADLINE

 'Mood of Defiance' in the countryside

Scotland's ten active hunts are followed by 3,000 people each week and support up 14,000 jobs in the countryside.

The six hunts based in the Borders are said to generate an income for the area of £3.5 million, and a recent survey suggested that if hunting was banned, ten of the 11 farriers would go out of business. Scottish hunts are identical in execution and tradition to those south of the Border, but have enjoyed less attention from hunt saboteurs. The last hunt to be abandoned, the Linlithgo and Stirlingshire, was one exception. It attracted protests because of its proximity to towns in the Central Belt, although its master said it was abandoned because of "urban encroachment" and lack of space.

There are also four foot packs, which are funded by the Government to control foxes on agriculture land in remote areas of the Highlands. These involve one man following a pack of foxhounds, but are expected to he included in proposed private members bill because foxes are often cornered after being driven underground.

The 26 fox destruction clubs, which use dogs to flush foxes into the open to allow them to be shot, will also be banned. One of the best known hunts is named after Britain's biggest landowner, The Duke of Buccleuch. It was established in 1827 and attracts dozens of followers of followers during the week, and as many as I00 riders and 100 followers on a Saturday.

Peter Neilson, the joint master, said there was a "mood of defiance" in the countryside. He said: "(Urban man is trying to dictate how rural man should live. If we decide to do something it will be pretty spectacular. This is not just about ten mounted packs, it is a much bigger issue."

The main Scottish hunts are the Berwickshire the Lauderdale, The Duke of Buccleuch, the Jedforest, the Liddesdale, the Dumfriessshire, the Fife, the Lanarkshire and Refrewshire and the Eglinton. The tenth hunt, a private pack, is the Kincardine Foxhounds based outside Stonehaven in the north-east of Scotland

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