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Pet rights for renters included in Scottish housing bill
If passed, the bill will mean that private landlords can no longer unreasonably refuse a request to keep a pet.
Landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse requests to keep a pet.

The Scottish government has published a new bill that could give renters in Scotland new rights to keep pets.

Under the Housing (Scotland) Bill, private and social housing tenants will have the right to request to keep a pet, which landlords will not be able to unreasonably refused. Currently, it is up to private landlords whether or not they choose to give a tenant written permission to keep a pet.

The bill, which follows three public consultations, will be looked at by MSPs before being voted on in the Scottish parliament.

Patrick Harvie, tenants’ rights minister, said: “A fairer, well-regulated rented sector is good for both tenants and landlords. Tenants benefit from improved conditions and security, while good responsible landlords will thrive when their good practice is recognised by regulation.”

The proposed legislation has been welcomed by Dogs Trust. With one in ten rehoming requests received by Dogs Trust involving issues with accommodation, the charity has been campaigning for greater rights for responsible pet owners who rent their home.

Claire Wilson-Leary, Dogs Trust’s public affairs manager, said: “We welcome proposals within the Housing (Scotland) Bill that, if passed, will mean landlords cannot unreasonably refuse consent for private tenants to keep a pet. We have long called for stronger rights for responsible dog owning tenants to be able to keep a pet.  
 
“We will be engaging with the Scottish government to clarify details of when it would be reasonable for landlords to refuse consent to ensure that tenants are not unjustly denied the right to keep a pet.”

Similar legislation for England is currently going through the UK parliament as part of the Renters (Reform) Bill.

Image © Shutterstock

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."