Leading animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland has welcomed the Scottish First Minister’s commitment to animal welfare in today’s Programme for Government.

Jennifer Dunn, Senior Public Affairs Officer for the League Against Cruel Sports, Scotland said:

“The Ayrshire Ark and other recent cases have shown there’s a real need for tougher sentencing of criminals who mete out absolutely appalling pain and suffering to animals. Until now, Scotland has lagged behind most of the rest of Europe in having a maximum sentence of only six months for animal cruelty.

“We’re delighted that the Scottish Government has responded to our calls to amend the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 to increase the maximum penalty for animal cruelty cases to five years, and introduce fixed penalty notices for less serious offences. We’re also pleased that the Government will legislate to regulate animal shelters. A case as horrific as the Ayrshire Ark must never happen again.

“But while increasing sentencing options is a welcome move, we’d ask members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicions they have of dog fighting to 0146 361 108.”

The Government’s programme for Scotland also included a commitment to progress Lord Bonomy’s recommendations to strengthen the law on foxhunting and Professor Poustie’s recommendations to increase penalties for wildlife crime.


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Notes to editor

1. The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

2. Read the full report, page 91-92.
3. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson or on 07930 539832