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Scottish government proposes to license petcare services

Licensing for dog walkers, boarders, and groomers is being considered by the Scottish government to improve animal welfare standards.

The Scottish government is seeking views on a proposed licensing scheme, which aims to ensure consistency in standards across the animal care services sector.

The consultation will also seek views on introducing greater regulation of canine fertility services and greyhound racing in Scotland.

Environment Minister Gillian Martin said: “Scotland is a nation of pet lovers. Fortunately, the majority of people working in the animal care sector are incredibly passionate about caring for animals and already operate to high standards of animal welfare. But sadly there are still some businesses which fall short when it comes to putting animal welfare first.

“With greater regulation of the sector, we can give more confidence to people that are interacting and buying services from animal care service providers that these businesses are operating to the highest possible welfare standards.

“However, we must also strike a balance with any proposed regulation – to ensure those already operating to a high standard aren’t unduly affected. That is why we are consulting and I encourage organisations, businesses and the public to make their views known.”

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “At the moment, there are many animal-related vocations that are completely unregulated. We have sadly encountered cases where suffering has been caused in these industries due to negligence or lack of knowledge. Licensing these activities will help to safeguard animals and people when using these services.”

He added: “We would encourage individuals, businesses and groups to respond to this consultation to have their say on animal welfare in Scotland.”

The consultation can be found here.

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