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Mountain hare protections come into force in Scotland today

SCOTTISH government protections for mountain hares come into force from today — an occasion campaigners are calling National Mountain Hare Day.

The regulations make it illegal to intentionally kill, injure or take members of the upland species without a licence.

They were passed last June as part of Holyrood’s Animals and Wildlife Bill after a campaign led by Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone.

Ms Johnstone said: “Today is an important moment for all those who campaigned for years to end the indiscriminate mass slaughter of mountain hares on Scotland’s grouse moors.

“Overwhelming public support for action ensured that Parliament supported this change, and I would like to express my gratitude in particular to the tens of thousands of campaigners who backed my amendment and helped push it over the line.

“Scotland is in a nature emergency, with one in nine species at threat.

“The progress we are seeing today is important but we need to do so much more.”

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