The Kennel Club response to Animals and Wildlife Bill (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) becoming law

The Kennel Club, has welcomed the news that The Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Bill has become law upon receiving Royal Assent after it received cross party support in the Scottish Parliament on 17th June.

As well as raising the maximum sentence for animal cruelty in Scotland to up to five years, the Bill also ensures that the Government reviews the current legislation on electric shock collars and pet theft before 1st April 2025, thanks to an amendment tabled by Maurice Golden MSP and accepted by MSPs.

Holly Conway, Head of Public Affairs at the Kennel Club said: “We welcome this as a major step forward for dog welfare in Scotland. It is vital that cruelty towards animals is punished with the full force of the law as a means of deterrent and delivering justice. Scotland has led the way in doing so, and we very much hope that England and Wales will soon follow suit.

“We are confident that the review into pet theft legislation will similarly result in tougher sentencing in order to reflect the emotional impact that it brings, which far exceeds any financial loss.

“Both veterinarian bodies and welfare organisations, including the Kennel Club, have long campaigned for a ban on electric shock collars and this is a significant move in the right direction. We hope that the review will ensure real changes are made and the welfare of dogs is improved.”