“This Bill is a step in the right direction, but Scottish Labour has listened to calls from animal welfare charities that it does not go far enough,” Colin Smyth, Scottish Labour Party politician, told STV News.
He continued: “In its current form, some of the most heinous crimes against animals such as poisoning and mutilation will still carry far too light a sentence. [T]hat is a loophole that must be closed. All animals are sentient—and cruelty to animals should be treated as a serious crime with serious consequences.”
Scotland’s Animal and Wildlife Bill
Mark Ruskell, a Scottish Green Member of the Scottish Parliament, also proposed amendments to the bill. “Moving amendments to the Animal and Wildlife etc Bill,” he wrote on Twitter. He wrote that the amendments would “extend powers of the Scottish SPCA to detect wildlife crime, make landowners responsible for damage to beaver setts, [and] use restorative justice to address wildlife offenders behavior.”
“My proposals could give this Bill real teeth by giving the SSPCA the powers they need to investigate wildlife crime,” Ruskell told STV News. He added: “Currently the service cannot gather evidence to prosecute these crimes, even when they know about them. That’s ridiculous.”
The Animal and Wildlife Bill now goes to stage two. It will be heard by the Environment Committee on Tuesday.
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