The SNP Government is seeking views on its new proposals for a modern system of licensing for the breeding of cats, dogs, and rabbits.
Amid concerns that current licensing regulations in Scotland are outdated, the SNP Government has put forward proposals to safeguard animal welfare which include the introduction of an independent accreditation body to reduce the burden on local authorities and regulations that take greater account of the size of a breeder’s operation when issuing licenses.
The aim of the proposed changes is to relieve the burden on those who are already doing a good job of protecting animal welfare, while simultaneously increasing effectiveness in dealing with cases where welfare is not being sufficiently protected.
Speaking during a visit to Scottish SPCA offices in Dunfermline, Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon MSP said:
“We are absolutely committed to introducing legislation that’s based on up-to-date scientific research and advice, and is fit for purpose for a modern Scotland.
“We will introduce that legislation soon but, before we do so, we want to hear people’s feedback on our proposals to enhance our ability to deal with cases where an animal’s welfare is at risk, whilst creating a system that doesn’t add to the burden of organisations like the Scottish SPCA and our local authorities, or indeed on those breeders who already work to a high standard."
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Not only have we heard heartbreaking stories of the shameful standards that some domestic animals are bred in, but irresponsible breeding can also lead to chronic health problems for animals that continue long after they have moved to their new home.
“It is therefore vital that interested parties including breeders, animal welfare organisations, local authorities, and veterinary professionals, make their views known and help ensure that Scotland has a robust and modern system of breeding licensing.”
The consultation can be accessed here and will close on 30 November 2018.