Supporters have been contacting us about the current consultation on amending the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
To put it plainly, the scope of this exercise is a slap in the face to us all. Human and non-human.
Rather than the desperately needed improvements that could have been introduced, we have suggestions such as fixed-penalties for “less serious” offences.
Justification for this idea includes sparing offenders the ordeal of a court appearance and a criminal record, and reducing the workload of the so-called justice system.
That’s how much our politicians really care.
The severity of cruelty that presently goes unpunished, or often uninvestigated, is staggering.
Despite government clarification in the document, we fear that “less serious” will end up including severe breaches. We believe that this tool will be misused by authorities looking to enforce legislation on the cheap.
Even the paltry increase in maximum sentencing’s a con act. We feel from experience that this is only being put forward as the Scottish Government is planning to scrap sentences under a year.
If the current maximum stayed in place this would effectively mean almost nobody would ever go to jail for harming an animal in Scotland.
Cruelty, neglect and downright sadism is going unchecked. No matter what you’re told by those in power and their pals, that’s the reality on the ground.
We would recommend contacting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon directly with views on how to strengthen the law; firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotland for Animals want to see;
All animals, including invertebrates, protected by law
A Maximum life sentence/ unlimited fine for animal cruelty
The creation of a dedicated Police Scotland unit to investigate animal cruelty and enforce legislation
The creation of a register for those convicted of cruelty
Statutory requirement for a multi-agency approach for reporting/ investigation
Scrapping of all time bars on prosecution
This is going to take more than patter and gestures from Holyrood. The whole system needs overhauled top to bottom.
Proper scope, proper prevention, proper enforcement, proper sentencing.
We’ll be at Lush, Buchanan St., Glasgow this Saturday (13th) to launch our campaign for real change.
Come in and find out how you can play your part in winning Scotland’s animals the protection they deserve.