New law allows Scotland to seize and re-home mistreated animals

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A new law allows authorities in Scotland to seize and re-home mistreated animals.

Legislation will now enable animals taken into possession to protect their welfare to be rehomed far more efficiently.

Before today, animals seized on welfare grounds that were not signed over by the owner to the Scottish SPCA would have to temporarily reside at a rescue centre until any legal proceedings had concluded.

Changes to the legislation mean that animals seized due to welfare concerns can now be rehomed after a minimum of just three weeks without a court order, reducing the time spent in an interim home before finding a new family.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “We take animal welfare extremely seriously and are determined to have the highest possible standards for all animals in Scotland.

“I am very pleased that these new powers have come into effect and have been strongly welcomed by animal welfare organisations. The new procedure to quickly rehome animals taken into possession to protect their welfare can now be used by authorised bodies including local authorities and the Scottish SPCA, who do so much invaluable front-line work in a wide variety of extremely difficult situations to protect animals across Scotland.

“This new procedure should significantly improve the way authorised bodies are able to intervene to protect animals at risk of suffering without those animals then having to be held for unnecessarily prolonged periods, which will be an important step forwards for animal welfare overall,” she added in September 30.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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