Scotland's farming union has welcomed proposed new animal welfare laws. NFU Scotland believes the new Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill can further enhance Scotland's reputation for the highest standards of farm animal welfare.
Chairman of the NFUS Livestock Committee is Nigel Miller, a farmer and qualified vet from the Borders. He said:
"This is an important updating of welfare legislation and placing a duty of care on anyone responsible for animals is a significant step. Scottish farming has an excellent reputation for the welfare of its farm animals and new laws will ensure we protect and build on that. We will obviously be involved as this Bill progresses through Parliament.
"Fortunately, cases of cruelty on farms are extremely rare, but when they do occur the authorities need the necessary powers to act and this Bill should deliver those.
"I am pleased the Minister is taken a pragmatic approach to tail-docking and other necessary, routine operations. When veterinary advice indicates these are required to protect the health of animals, the short-term discomfort delivers a lifetime's protection."