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Scotland announces bill to raise animal cruelty sentences
Scotland has one of the lowest animal cruelty prison sentences in the whole of Europe.
Announcement could have major implications for England and Wales

The Scottish government has announced a bill to raise the maximum prison sentence for serious animal abusers to five years.

The news comes just weeks after Battersea Dogs and Cats Home launched its campaign to increase Scotland’s current 12-month sentence.

Research by the organisation revealed that Scotland has one of the lowest animal cruelty prison sentences in the whole of Europe. Only five other countries, including England and Wales, have lower sentences for animal cruelty.

Welcoming the announcement, Battersea’s chief executive Claire Horton said: "Battersea is thrilled by this news from the Scottish Government, as a five-year deterrent in Scotland could go a long way to help many animals that are the innocent victims of unacceptable cruelty.
“When we launched our campaign in Scotland last month, there was a momentum building amongst Scots in favour of tougher sentences and today’s news proves the Government is listening. They recognise 12 months is simply not enough for some of the horrific cases of animal cruelty that come through the Courts, nor does it deter other would-be animal abusers.
She continued: "There’s still a way to go before the Scottish Government’s bold announcement today becomes law, as it needs support from the other Holyrood parties.
“A five-year sentence means courts have the power to appropriately punish the most shocking offences of animal cruelty. Battersea is urging animal lovers to respond to this call for action and contact their MSPs, to make it abundantly clear to all politicians that the Scottish public want to see five-year sentences become a reality. We commend the Scottish Government for their announcement today and Battersea is willing to help in any way we can to make this change happen.”

Claire Horton added that the Scottish government’s announcement could have major implications for England and Wales, where the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty is six months.

She added: “Battersea is calling for tougher cruelty sentences north and south of the border. So, with Scotland now wanting to bring in five-year sentences, I sincerely hope this will make England and Wales now move to follow suit.”

To assist with Battersea's campaign and help bring the Scottish Government's plans to fruition, visit

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Webinar to share tips on impactful consultations

News Story 1
 A webinar to help veterinary professionals communicate more effectively with their clients is set to be hosted by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

Taking place on Thursday 30 September, 'Top Tips for Impactful Consultations' will be led by Suzanne Rogers, co-director of Human Behaviour Change for Animals and Dr Natasha Lee, chair of the WSAVA's Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee.

For more information about the webinar, click here

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News Shorts
New online CPD otitis podcast created

A new 15 minute podcast on treating animals with otitis has been created by Dechra Veterinary Products. Featuring general practice vet Carolyn Kyte and veterinary dermatology specialist Natalie Barnard, the two vets will discuss their experiences treating otitis, and why owners are significant in successful treatment.

Dechra Brand Manager Carol Morgan commented: "What Carolyn and Natalie bring to the table with their new podcast for the Dechra Academy is a light and insightful discussion about communication and education being the keystone for better otitis outcomes and how vets can improve on their consultation skills to handle cases better."`

The podcast, called 'Think Differently about Otitis', is available to access for free on the Dechra Academy on-demand learning platform here.