Scottish SPCA welcomes government’s commitment to animal welfare

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The Scottish SPCA welcomed a number of positive animal welfare announcements in the 2018/2019 Scottish Government Programme for Government on Wednesday September 5.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity has been seeking a number of changes in the law in regards to animals, including an increase in the maximum sentencing for animal cruelty, licensing of animal sanctuaries and tackling the illegal puppy trade.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: ‘It’s fantastic that the Scottish Government has announced that they will be taking steps to improve animal welfare in many instances beyond the UK.

‘Given our proven commitment to animal welfare the society looks forward to taking part in the proposed Animal Welfare Commission.’

Scottish SPCA Chief Executive Kirsteen Campbell said: ‘We are extremely pleased to see the commitment from the Scottish Government to allow animals seized by organisations to be rehomed much more quickly and efficiently.

‘Currently many animals remain in our care for a long period of time, until a court a case has been heard. First and foremost these commitments will, in time, alleviate our temporary refuge situation which is a real challenge both from an animal welfare and a financial perspective.

‘The illegal puppy trade is a priority for the society and our #SayNoToPuppyDealers campaign has highlighted this issue to the public and MSPs. We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to reform licensing and breeding laws.

‘We are pleased to see that a range of actions have been proposed to ensure young people have the support they need at the earliest stage. Sadly we are seeing first-hand the effects that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have on how children interact with animals that they encounter.

‘The Scottish SPCAs ground-breaking Animal Guardians programme is that first step in really trying to tackle the link between animal cruelty and violent crime.

‘With the added link between animal cruelty and domestic violence we are pleased that domestic violence will continue to be a key multi-agency issue that will be tackled across Scotland over the coming year.

‘Having been concerned at rising numbers of wildlife casualties, we are delighted to see commitments regarding protecting life and habitats below water and above land, including tackling the issue of fishing litter and lost gear.

‘We also commend steps to improve Scotland’s international reputation for high quality meat production by updating Farm Animal Welfare Codes and introducing compulsory CCTV of slaughter in abattoirs.

‘We look forward to working with our partners, Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament to progress these positive commitments to animal welfare in Scotland.’