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The Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill: First evidence session

The Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of dogs by encouraging responsible ownership and providing for the registration of unlicensed litters. The Bill will also seek to publish an amended or a new Code of Practice (to work alongside the current CoP from the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006) for all dog breeders and members of the public wishing to purchase a dog.

On Wednesday 20 September the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee hosted a round table evidence session with stakeholder groups, including Battersea, SSPCA and the Dogs Trust. 

The meeting centred around discussions on the sale of dogs from puppy farms and from unscrupulous breeders, who often use tactics such as renting AirBnBs and using “fake” mums when showing the puppies in a homely environment. Other tactics include buying multiple microchips, falsifying details and microchipping ears, for easy removal and use in future puppy sales.

Breeders and owners of working dogs will most certainly be included in this new legislation. The working dog sector are very strict in their requirements in temperament and welfare standards when breeding working dogs. Estate workers and gamekeepers will often buy puppies from colleagues from local estates and will be very well informed on the temperament and breeding of each dog. Their livelihood depends on having a canine companion that will be well-trained and under the handlers control at all times. We feel this bill will pose unnecessary restrictions on the working dog sector, whose standards are already above what is required under existing legislation. To find out more about the Welfare of Dogs Bill, click here.

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