Should licences be introduced for dog walkers and groomers?

The proposed scheme aims to ensure consistency in standards across the animal care services sector.

Dog walkers, groomers, and canine fertility services could need licences under new proposals.

The Scottish Government is seeking views on the proposed scheme which aims to ensure consistency in standards across the animal care services sector.

A consultation which launched on Tuesday seeks views on the plans, which would also introduce licences for horse riding establishments and pet accommodation services.

It is also calling for opinions on greyhound racing, as the future of the sport is being considered by a Holyrood committee.

Environment minister Gillian Martin said: “Scotland is a nation of pet lovers.

“Fortunately, the majority of people working in the animal care sector are incredibly passionate about caring for animals and already operate to high standards of animal welfare.

“But sadly there are still some businesses which fall short when it comes to putting animal welfare first.

“With greater regulation of the sector, we can give more confidence to people that are interacting and buying services from animal care service providers that these businesses are operating to the highest possible welfare standards.

“However, we must also strike a balance with any proposed regulation – to ensure those already operating to a high standard aren’t unduly affected.

“That is why we are consulting and I encourage organisations, businesses and the public to make their views known.”

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said some canine fertility clinics are run by untrained people who have caused harm to dogs.

He said: “At the moment, there are many animal-related vocations that are completely unregulated.

“We have sadly encountered cases where suffering has been caused in these industries due to negligence or lack of knowledge.

“Licensing these activities will help to safeguard animals and people when using these services.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code