Nature & Animals

Political parties promise more action on animal welfare

With just days to go until the polls open, a number of Scotland’s political parties are vowing to do more to help protect the country’s wildlife, domestic pets and livestock.

According to some estimates, almost half of species in Scotland have become less abundant over the last decade, and currently one in nine species faces extinction.

In addition, several high profile environmental bodies have had their funding cut in recent years, including the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Rural and Environmental Science and Analytical Services, Scottish Natural Heritage, and NatureScot, which has seen its budget cut by £33 million in real terms since 2010.

Now some of the major parties are revealing what they would do to uphold animal welfare if they are elected to Holyrood on May 6.

SNP promises EU-style legislation

The SNP says it will modernise the Animal Welfare Act and create a new labelling system based on the system used in the EU.

Fergus Mutch, who is standing for the SNP in Aberdeenshire West, said: “The SNP takes animal welfare issues very seriously which is why we have pledged radical policies on the issue if re-elected on 6 May.

“The SNP proposes to adopt the highest possible standards – which would include changing to free range, woodland or barn chicken and egg products.

“We will also modernise and update the Animal Welfare Act from 2006 and implement the new livestock worrying legislation.”

He added: “We won’t stop there, though.

“The SNP has also pledged to implement a new EU-style animal welfare labelling system which would promote food produced to higher than EU welfare standards.”

Labour plans review of ‘outdated’ legislation

Scottish Labour says its climate recovery plan will include a commitment to carry out a full review of what they call “outdated” legislation in a bid to strengthen wildlife protection laws and animal welfare.

This would involve a ban on fox hunting, snares and the use of electric shock collars, and better monitoring of birds of prey, conservation and introducing stronger penalties.

Party leader Anas Sarwar says Labour will also create a Scottish Conservation Corps which would employ 10,000 people dedicated to restoring Scotland’s natural environment.

Political parties are vowing to do more on wildlife protection

Mr Sarwar said: “Scotland’s natural environment is one of the best in the world, and we have the responsibility to protect and promote the wildlife that lives there.

“Years of cuts from the SNP has left our environment agencies weakened.

“Too many of our species are facing the threat of extinction.

“The Greens would rather take us back to the old arguments than protect Scotland’s wildlife.

“This election is a clear choice between a party that will unite behind Scotland’s recovery to protect our natural environment, or continued division over the constitution.

“Only Scottish Labour has a recovery plan that will protect our natural environment and create much-needed jobs.

“By using both votes for Labour, especially the second, peach ballot paper, we can unite behind a recovery that protects our wildlife.”

Aberdeenshire farmer under investigation after pigs filmed being hammered to death

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Greens say other parties have not gone far enough on animal welfare

The Scottish Green Party says other parties at Holyrood have not gone far enough when it comes to animal welfare.

It says it will end fox hunting and drive grouse shooting, and bring in more rights for farm animals and pets if they are elected to parliament on Thursday.

Alison Johnstone, who is standing in the election for the Scottish Greens and earlier this year won protection for mountain hares, said: “The other parties have not gone far enough on animal welfare.

Supplied by Scottish SPCA Date; Unknown

“Only the Scottish Greens have a whole chapter on this, and more besides.

“We already have a track record of winning protections for beavers and mountain hares, and getting P&O to end the transport of live calves from Scotland to Europe, but we will do much more in the next parliament.

“Greens will end fox hunting and driven grouse shooting and see that those committing wildlife crime are brought to justice.

“We will bring in greater rights for farm animals and pets, including fighting for a ban on live exports and we will ban cruel traps like snares and glue traps.

“We will ban the breeding and import of dogs for racing and deliver a fully resourced wildlife crime investigation unit and a stricter licensing scheme.

“One in nine of Scotland’s species are at risk.

“We are in a nature emergency, and restoring Scotland’s nature is one of the pillars of our manifesto.

“Only the Scottish Greens have this level of ambition because we know all of our future depends on it.”

Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Lib Dems would overhaul grouse shooting

The Scottish Liberal Democrats say they are committed to gaining the highest possible standards when it comes to animal welfare.

The party is vowing to implement the recommendations of the Werrity grouse moor review, which concluded a licensing scheme should be introduced for the shooting of grouse.

It also says it will take forward the findings of the Lord Bonomy’s report which reviewed the protection of wild animals in Scotland.

Rosemary Bruce, who is standing for the Lib Dems in the North East list, said: “The Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto contains a wide-ranging package of measures to support the highest standards of animal welfare.

“These include clamping down on illegal pet imports and maintaining the protection of standards for all animals and guaranteeing sufficient resources for the police’s wildlife crime investigation unit.

Man faces animal neglect charges after dozens of cats and dogs seized from Perthshire farm

“We will make sure access to wildlife corridors and woodland is available to every community and implement the recommendations of the Werrity grouse moor review to establish licensing for driven grouse shooting.

“We will also take forward reform of the wild mammals legislation following Lord Bonomy’s report.

“The changes will sufficiently protect animals, meet the needs of ou

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“We will make sure access to wildlife corridors and woodland is available to every community and implement the recommendations of the Werrity grouse moor review to establish licensing for driven grouse shooting.

“We will also take forward reform of the wild mammals legislation following Lord Bonomy’s report.

“The changes will sufficiently protect animals, meet the needs of our rural communities, work effectively and give all those involved in its operation the clarity that makes it fit for purpose.”

 

 




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