Dog welfare bill aims to curb puppy farms in Scotland

Christine Grahame's Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill has been formally introduced at Holyrood.

A new animal welfare bill being brought to the Scottish Parliament aims to discourage puppy farming.

Christine Grahame’s Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill has been formally introduced at Holyrood after a consultation phase which started in 2018.

It would bring more breeders into the licensing regime and introduce a registration process for unlicensed litters, meaning prospective dog owners must take a responsible approach.

Puppies which are bred in an irresponsible way often end up with serious health problems later in life.

The SNP MSP’s proposed legislation is backed by groups including the SSPCA, OneKind and Dogs Trust.

Ms Grahame, who is also convener of Holyrood’s cross-party animal welfare group, said: “Animal welfare is a cause close to my heart and I have pursued this Bill as a remedy to the horrific conditions we see in puppy farms and with unscrupulous breeders.

“I know first-hand how much a dog can add to someone’s life and a whole family’s experience but it is important that people understand the commitment they’re taking on and that they act responsibly when buying an animal – a puppy or dog is a sentient being, not a fashion accessory, not an impulse buy.”

She continued: “That wide-eyed puppy may be appealing, but how do you know what its upbringing was, have you seen it with its mother?

“Despite many good breeders and advertising campaigns too many dogs are still given up or bred with horrific health issues that lead to heartache for all concerned.

“If my Bill becomes law then every litter of puppies born in Scotland will be traceable either through the licensing or the registration scheme.

“Prospective dog owners will be required to consider a series of questions before acquiring a puppy or dog. This is to make them think hard and avoid that understandable impulse buy.”

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