Animal welfare is a key priority for the SNP.
The SNP Government has acted on the expert scientific and ethical advice given by the Animal Welfare Commission, a body of leading animal welfare experts, veterinary surgeons, and the head of the Scottish SPCA which are responsible for developing evidence led expert recommendations on issues relating to animal welfare and sentience.
If re-elected, the SNP will continue to work alongside animal welfare experts, vets and relevant stakeholders to create meaningful legislation which seeks to reduce harm and unnecessary suffering to animals – especially in animal research which, for now, remains a reserved matter under the control of the Tory Government at Westminster.
I, alongside the SNP, will support farmers to produce more of our own food needs sustainably and to farm and croft with nature, including through enhanced animal welfare and health approaches and better adoption and deployment of technology and innovation, as recommended by the recent work of farmer-led groups set up in the last parliament.
The SNP will modernise and update the Animal Welfare Act from 2006 and implement the new livestock worrying legislation.
Additionally, we will create a new Scottish veterinary service to ensure that we have enough people with the right qualifications in veterinary services, animal health and food safety to meet all our needs across the public and private sector for all land and marine based animal health issues
Finally, we will seek to reflect so far as we can, new EU animal welfare labelling to promote food produced to higher than EU welfare standards, and we will ban live exports of animals for fattening and slaughter and only allow live transport of livestock to and from islands and the mainland with stringent welfare standards in place.