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Expert Witness : Animal & Farming

Slaughterhouse CCTV proposals to extend to Scotland

With consultation on CCTV in slaughterhouses closing on 22 September, the Scottish Government has announced plans to introduce a similar consultation as part of its Government Programme for Scotland 2017/18.

The decision has been widely welcomed by the veterinary profession and follows campaigning to include the measure in Scotland alongside the model for England announced by Michael Gove in August.

Melissa Donald, president of the Scottish branch of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said: “We’re delighted that the Scottish Government is looking seriously at introducing mandatory CCTV in abattoirs.

Although a high percentage of abattoirs in Scotland already have CCTV, there are no rules governing how the footage is used or kept, and it is essential that Official Veterinarians have unrestricted access so they can fully monitor animal health and welfare throughout the slaughterhouse.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 September 2017 08:50


Scotland set to reintroduce selective ‘tail-docking’

The Scottish Government’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has voted to allow the reintroduction of so-called tail-docking for a number of breeds of hunting dogs. The proposals will allow the removal of up to the end third of the tails of spaniels and hunt point retrievers within five days of being born if they are destined to be working dogs.

The proposal will now go to a vote by the Scottish Parliament.

The docking of dogs’ tails has been banned in Scotland since 2007. However, if changes to legislation are approved, puppies could have their tails shortened where a vet believes they are likely to be used as a working dog and are at risk of serious tail injury in later life.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 June 2017 10:18


Changes to dog legislation affect owners

Last year, amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act were introduced under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. Recently, sentencing under those amendments came into force. The new laws extend both the scope of the Act and where offences can be committed.

According to pet information exchange Pets4Homes: "The original law effectively bans ownership of four breeds of dog within the UK - the Fila Brasileiro, the Dogo Argentino, the Japanese Tosa and the Pit Bull Terrier.

"However, it also covers the process in law to govern what happens to any dog of any breed that is considered to pose a risk to people, and this is something that not all dog owners are aware of."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:55


BASC works with Law Commission to improve firearms law

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) will be working with the Law Commission – the independent body which keeps the law of England and Wales under review and recommends reforms – on the future of firearms law.

The Commission, which recently issued a scoping consultation paper, is looking at questions such as the definition of lethality and antiques, what constitutes a component part of a firearm, the standard for deactivation and the case for fundamental reform of the law.

Before publishing the consultation the Law Commission held discussions with BASC’s expert firearms team, among others.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 10:43


Food fraud – the crime in our shopping baskets

Fraud in the food sector doesn’t just risk public health, it denies consumers the quality of produce they’ve paid for and undermines the profits of food companies, according to fraud experts.

Professor Lisa Jack is head of the Food Fraud Group at the University of Portsmouth and gave evidence to Professor Chris Elliott’s review of food safety, commissioned to review food safety after the 2013 horse meat scandal and published today.

She and Jim Gee, director of Counter Fraud Services for BDO, a leading member of the University’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies group, and the first to begin extensive research into the financial cost of fraud to the food industry, were commenting in the wake of the Elliott Review.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2015 17:10