What are the SNP’s policies on animal welfare?
Scotland led the way in addressing animal welfare concerns when the Scottish Parliament banned fox hunting in 2002. However, the SNP Government recognised concerns about the legislation and asked the Rt Hon Lord Bonomy to review whether the law was providing sufficient protection for our wild animals. The recommendations of his report are now being carefully considered to ensure the highest levels of welfare for our wild animals.
In this Parliament the SNP Scottish Government will undertake a wildlife crime prevention review and set up a Wildlife Crime Investigation Unit as part of Police Scotland.
We will introduce tough new regulations on the use of electronic training collars for animals. To help prevent animal suffering the use of electric pulse, sonic and spray collars will be prohibited, unless under the guidance of an approved trainer or vet.
In November 2016 the SNP Government announced that beavers will be allowed to remain in Scotland and will be actively managed in line with practices in other European countries.
Work has now begun to ensure beavers can be added to Scotland’s list of protected species – the first time a mammal has been officially reintroduced to the UK. Farmers will be given advice and assistance in understanding their options to help them implement mitigation and prevention measures.