Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Greater legal protections for service animals in Scotland
Finn's Law will make it harder for those who harm service animals to claim they were acting in self-defence.
Animals and Wildlife Bill passes final reading. 

New legal protections for service animals and increased prison sentences for animal cruelty are to be introduced in Scotland.

The move follows the passing of the Animals and Wildlife Bill in Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (17 June) and will see maximum jail sentences for those convicted of animal cruelty increase from six months to five years.

It will also see the introduction of Finn's Law, making it harder for those who harm service animals, such as police dogs and horses, to claim they were acting in self-defence.

Animal welfare enforcement agencies will also receive new powers, enabling them to take animals into their care without the need for a court order.

“This Bill is an important milestone in Scotland’s long tradition of protecting our animals and wildlife,” commented rural affairs minister Mairi Gougeon. “The increased maximum available penalties reflect the seriousness of some of the very cruel crimes seen against domestic and wild animals - although these cases are thankfully rare.”

Welcoming the news, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) – which has long campaigned for the new law -  described it as 'game-changing' for both animals and the organisation.

“This is a momentous day for animal welfare in Scotland,” said Scottish SPCA chief executive Kirsteen Campbell. “The proposals which will be enshrined in law will deliver wholesale, transformational change for animals nationwide.”

She added: “The inconsistency of sentences handed out to those guilty of animal cruelty has long been a frustration. We are hopeful increased sentencing and unlimited fines will act as a greater deterrent to people in mistreating animals and ensure the punishments befits the crime for the worst offences, such as animal fighting and puppy farming.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Defra extends applications to Zoo Animals Fund

News Story 1
 Defra has extended the deadline for applications for the 100 Million Zoo Animals Fund until 26 February 2021.

Launched in June 2020, the fund provides financial support for zoos and aquariums that have experienced a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to 730,000 are available, which can be used to pay for essential costs and maintenance, including veterinary care, medicines, animal feed and staffing.

More information about the fund and details of how to apply can be found here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk