The Scottish SPCA Plans To Work With The Scottish Government To Strengthen Animal Welfare Laws

The Scottish SPCA is calling on the government to amend animal welfare legislation in the country; while revealing that many animals involved in court proceedings spend months waiting to be rehomed.

“All animals receive an incredible amount of love, attention and care from our dedicated staff, but spending hundreds of days in a rescue centre is not beneficial to the welfare of an animal and it is not substitute for a loving home and family, Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said in a statement.

Currently, animals cannot be rehomed until any criminal proceedings involving them conclude if they have not been relinquished by their owner. In 2016, the organization cared for 173 animals involved in court cases, while this figure jumped to 296 in 2017, and was 224 in 2018.

Court cases typically take months or even years to conclude and since 2016, dogs involved in court proceedings have spent an average of 231 days in the Scottish SPCA’s care. For cats, the figure is 96 days, while for horses it is 171 days.

The Scottish SPCA noted that it endorses proposals to allow animal sanctuaries to rehome rescued animals much more quickly, and to increase the maximum possible sentence for the worst cruelty offenses from 12 months to five years.

Cost is a factor as well, especially with the Society’s successes in tackling the illegal puppy trade.

“Our work at the forefront of the multiagency operation to disrupt the barbaric puppy farming industry has been outstanding, but has come with a considerable cost implication,” continued Flynn, further noting that under the new plans, the organization would be able to rehome these dogs and other animals within weeks. “On farms, puppies are often bred in appalling conditions and this leads to health implications, and in the worst cases, death. These larger investigations require more resources and typically take longer to appear in court.”

The organization stated that it looks forward to working with the Scottish Government to implement regulations that benefit animals across the country.

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