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Scottish Government announces ‘encouraging’ policies for farm animal welfare improvements

News Section Icon Published 08/09/2021

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We welcome that yesterday (7th September), in addition to committing to “work with other UK administrations on legislation to control exports of livestock”, the Scottish Government has pledged to “start consultation this year on proposals to improve animal transport legislation, and phase out cages for gamebirds and laying hens, and farrowing crates for pigs” in its latest Programme for Government – ‘A fairer, greener Scotland, Programme for Scotland 2021–22’.

Very encouraging

This new set of legislative and policy proposals lay out the actions the Scottish Government will undertake in the coming years, with a particular focus on the next 12 months.

James West, our Senior Policy Manager, commented: “This set of policy announcements from the Scottish Government is very encouraging news – we have long called for an end to the use of cages, a ban on live exports for slaughter and fattening and improvements to existing animal transport rules.”

Other commitments that could improve farm animal welfare include:

  • A pledge ‘to build a strong and sustainable future for Scottish farming, fishing, and aquaculture’ before 2025, which will include stronger ‘controls on sea lice’ in 2021-22
  • Proposing a Good Food Nation Bill

Will Scotland have the best animal welfare in the UK?

James continued: “It is welcome news that the Scottish Government appears to recognise that all farmed animals deserve the highest standards of welfare, and new legislation and policies are needed to achieve that.

“We look forward to seeing further details of these policy announcements, and to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that they deliver on these pledges, allowing them to genuinely lay claim to being world-leading in the field of farm animal welfare.”

Take Action

Despite this promising news, millions of farmed animals are suffering in cages every year across they the UK. Please support our call to End the Cage Age for UK farmed animals by signing the petition today.



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