End the Cage Age

I appreciate your concerns on this matter, however this is a devolved issue and therefore a matter for the Scottish Government.

The future of Scottish agriculture was debated recently within the Scottish Parliament where my MSP colleagues made the point that leaving the Common Agriculture Policy gives Scotland the prospect of implementing a future support system which can be used to improve support for animal welfare. I agree that while efficient food production must be at the forefront of any new agricultural policy in Scotland, it should also be built upon strong environmental and animal welfare standards.

Unfortunately, it appears Scotland is falling behind when it comes to the protection of animals. With among the lowest animal cruelty sentences in Europe, there is very little deterrent. I believe Scotland must at least match the five-year maximum term being legislated for in England. After my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament warned they would use the opposition majority to change legislation, the Scottish Government announced a consultation on animal welfare, which has now closed and the results will be published shortly.

My MSP colleagues have worked tirelessly to promote animal welfare issues such as: the better protection for police dogs and other service animals, known as Finn's Law; the improvement of pet shops licencing; and the compulsory use of CCTV in abattoirs. I am pleased that the Scottish Government has now agreed to implement these proposals, which I truly hope will be delivered.