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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

New Animal Welfare Powers take Effect

Legislation has come into effect which will enable animals in Scotland to be taken into possession, helping to protect their welfare to be rehomed far more efficiently.

Before Thursday, animals seized on welfare grounds that were not signed over by the owner to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Scottish SPCA) had to temporarily reside at a rescue centre until any legal proceedings had concluded.

Changes to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, through the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020, mean that animals seized due to welfare concerns can now be rehomed after a minimum of just three weeks without a court order, reducing the time spent in an interim home before finding the animal a new, loving family to live with.

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“The thought of any animal living in distress is heartbreaking and I think every animal lover will be delighted that these new powers have come into effect, helping to minimise distress and improve the welfare of already vulnerable pets across Scotland.

“The new procedure to quickly rehome animals taken into possession can now be used by authorised bodies including North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish SPCA front-line work in a wide variety of extremely difficult situations to protect these animals.”

Find the legislation, which was passed in the Scottish Parliament last year, here.

Visit the Scottish SPCA website here.



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