At present there is no specific legislation in place for those operating animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities in Scotland. The Programme for Government 2017-18 committed the Scottish Government to prepare legislation for a modern system of registration and licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities to allow for independent accreditation of applicants. The overall aim is to regulate this area to protect animal welfare in a way that is not unduly burdensome for those doing a good job whilst being effective in dealing with cases where welfare is not being sufficiently protected or where such rescue activities are effectively operating commercially in the guise of a charity.
Animal welfare is a devolved matter and the consultation applied to the proposed introduction of regulations on animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities in Scotland only. The consultation covered proposals to introduce new secondary legislation under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
The consultation covered proposals for a modern system of registration and licensing of animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities, allowing for independent accreditation of applicants to reduce the burden on local authorities. This includes all rehoming activities in Scotland, including charities and agencies rehoming animals from abroad. The consultation also considered how thresholds for registration and licensing should be determined depending on the size of the undertaking and how this may work for larger organisations with multiple premises.
The consultation provided an opportunity for all interested parties to scrutinise and comment on these proposals. The evidence gathered from the consultation will inform the regulations we will lay before the Scottish Parliament.
The proposals were formulated into 17 specific questions for those responding to the consultation.