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Scottish Countryside Alliance and SACS submit joint response to consultation for the Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Countryside Alliance together with the Scottish Association for Country Sports (SACS) have jointly submitted a response to the recent consultation for the Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill, which seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of dogs by encouraging responsible ownership and providing for the registration of unlicensed litters.

The Scottish Countryside Alliance and the Scottish Association for Country Sports welcomed the opportunity to comment on this consultation as many of our members own and breed working dogs, as well as own dogs as pets. Our dogs, working or otherwise, are an extension of our family, and welfare is of the highest priority.

The consultation sought views on:

  • The need for additional regulations to support a responsible and informed approach to acquiring and owning a dog,
  • An additional code of practice on acquiring and owning a dog, and to the sale or transfer of a dog.
  • Establishing a register of litters, which Local Authorities would be responsible for creating, updating and ensuring compliance with the proposed new regulations.

The consultation closed on the 11 August and 22 published responses were submitted by 5 individuals and 17 organisations including the SSPCA, The Kennel Club and the National Working Terrier Federation. All published responses can be viewed here

In a recent memorandum from the Scottish Government to the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee following the closure of the consultation, the Scottish Government stated that whilst they were supportive of the general intentions of the proposed bill, they were not convinced that developing a registration scheme would be an effective or proportionate way of tackling these issues in practice, and were not convinced there is a need for new powers that duplicate existing powers under section 27 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 to establish such a registration scheme. These existing powers are broadly equivalent to the new powers proposed in sections 8-10 of the Bill, so it is not clear what the benefit of sections 8-10 would be. You can read the full Scottish Government memorandum here.

Our joint response can be viewed here.

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