The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club have produced a package of policy measures for dog welfare they would like put in place by an incoming Scottish Government.

The "A dog's life" manifesto will be launched on 25 February at the Scottish Parliament.
The “A dog’s life” manifesto includes six key recommendations.

The launch of the “A dog’s life” manifesto follows on from the success of the first dog-specific manifesto, produced in the run-up to the UK general election last year.

On 25 February, The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club representatives will be joined at the launch of the manifesto, taking place at the Scottish Parliament, by Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs, food and environment; Claudia Beamish, shadow minister for environmental justice; and Jamie McGrigor, Conservative spokesman for the environment, fishing and rural affairs.

‘Vision for legislative change’

Caroline Kisko, secretary of The Kennel Club, said: “The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club are looking forward to our guest speakers highlighting their respective parties’ manifesto pledges relating to the welfare of dogs.

“Once again, our manifesto focuses on our vision for legislative change that would do more to protect dogs at every stage of life; from breeding and acquisition to dog training, responsible dog ownership and everyday living.”

Recommendations

The manifesto contains calls for the Scottish Government to formally recognise The Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme and review regulations on dog breeding.

It also draws on scientific research to highlight the need for a ban on electronic training devices and further develop the law on tail docking so working dogs are prevented from tail injury in the future.

Some of the key recommendations raised in the manifesto include:

  • Breeding – calls to endorse The Kennel Club assured breeder scheme, and issue effective guidance and training to local authorities to achieve consistent approaches to licensing and enforcement.
  • Acquisition – to prohibit the sale of puppies in pet shops and promote the responsible sale of dogs from breeders keeping the standard of The Kennel Club assured breeder scheme.
  • Training – to prohibit the sale and use of electronic shock collars, and adopt The Kennel Club accredited instructor requirements as an industry-based standard for trainers and behaviourists.
  • Responsible ownership – to investigate all serious and fatal dog bite incidents using the services of a suitable behaviourist to understand the causes and aid preventative measures.
  • Routines in everyday living – to record information relating to restrictions on where dog walkers can go, and amend the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act to allow tail docking for puppies that will be used to work on proven welfare grounds.
  • Free from animal tests – to put pressure on the Home Office to review the use of dogs as a second species for toxicity testing in human drug development in light of new research on the lack of usefulness.

For more information, visit the “A dog’s life” section of The Kennel Club’s Campaigns page.

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