Our response to latest news from the Scottish Government
We are delighted by the progressive announcement made by the Scottish Government and welcome the news that the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 will be updated. We have been calling for the legislation to be strengthened to reflect the latest understanding of animal health and welfare, in particular behaviour, for many years. Today marks a significant step forward for the future of all dogs.
The statement by Animal Welfare Minister Mairi Gougeon addresses several key issues including the regulation of rehoming and increased sentences for animal cruelty. These measures, alongside the proposal for expediting the rehoming or selling on of dogs being detained in kennels during legal proceedings are an important step in striving for the highest standards of animal welfare. It is also encouraging to see that the Scottish Government will look to address the issues with breeding from animals predisposed to genetic conditions. We hope that Scotland can lead the way in recognising the aspirations for fewer dogs with extreme conformations in coming years.
Whilst today’s review is undoubtedly a positive one that demonstrates the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare, there is still room for improvement. Last year the Scottish Government offered guidance around training devices including electric shock collars, but we would welcome a full ban on the use of such aversive methods in favour of positive, reward-based training.
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