Law to speed up rehoming of abused pets in Scotland comes into force


New powers come in to force today to rehome animals quicker in Scotland.

Legislation has come in to effect today which will enable animals taken into possession to protect their welfare to be rehomed far more efficiently.

Before today, animals seized on welfare grounds in Scotland that were not signed over by the owner to the Scottish SPCA would have to temporarily reside at a rescue centre until any legal proceedings had concluded.

Changes to the legislation mean that animals seized due to welfare concerns can now be rehomed after a minimum of just three weeks without a court order, reducing the time spent in an interim home before finding a new family.

Commenting on the changes, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“We take animal welfare extremely seriously and are determined to have the highest possible standards for all animals in Scotland.

“I am very pleased that these new powers have come into effect and have been strongly welcomed by animal welfare organisations. The new procedure to quickly rehome animals taken into possession to protect their welfare can now be used by authorised bodies including local authorities and the Scottish SPCA, who do so much invaluable front-line work in a wide variety of extremely difficult situations to protect animals across Scotland.

“This new procedure should significantly improve the way authorised bodies are able to intervene to protect animals at risk of suffering without those animals then having to be held for unnecessarily prolonged periods, which will be an important step forwards for animal welfare overall.”


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