The Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 places a duty of care on pet owners and others responsible for animals to ensure that the welfare needs of an animal are met. All pets (including cats, dogs, rabbits, rodents, birds, horses, ponies, fish, snakes and other reptiles) are protected by the Act.
The Scottish Government has produced a code of practice for the welfare of cats , a code of practice for the welfare of dogs , and a code of practice for the welfare of equidae, outlining the requirements of this legislation, and good practice for the care of these animals.
The Scottish Government have also published Pet Rabbit Welfare Guidance.
Current Known Problems - Trade in Illegally Imported Cats and Dogs
There are various other pieces of legislation that also apply to companion animals:
The Advisory Council on the Welfare issues of dog breeding provides advice for new owners on factors that need to be taken into consideration when ‘buying a puppy’.
The Scottish SPCA dedicated website on buying a puppy provides new owners with information needed when buying a puppy.
There is also information available on dog breeding.
Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA)
The Pet Advertising Advisory Group (http://paag.org.uk/) provides guidance on buying a variety of pets, along with what to do if you buy a sick pet. They have also developed and published Minimum Standards (http://paag.org.uk/standards/) for websites that advertise animals for sale. These standards are endorsed by the Scottish Government.