Improving welfare for Scotland’s homeless pets

Consultation on pet rescue centres.

Plans to introduce a modern system of registration and licensing for animal sanctuaries and rehoming activities have been unveiled.

Ministers are now consulting on a commitment, made in the Programme for Government, which is designed to ensure the highest possible standards of welfare for rescued animals.

The consultation considers the need for registration and licensing of premises depending on the number of animals kept, how this may work for larger organisations with multiple premises, and whether to allow independent accreditation of applicants to reduce the burden on local authority inspectors.

It was launched by Roseanna Cunningham, the Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for animal welfare, during a visit to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. She said:

“Scotland’s animal rehoming centres and sanctuaries perform a vitally important job and standards of welfare are generally high. But we know that isolated problems persist and there is legitimate public concern about this important issue .

“It is also vital that those rehoming a pet can be confident they are adopting from a reputable rescue centre. That is why we plan to introduce a straightforward licensing system, which will deal effectively with cases where animal welfare is not being sufficiently protected, while not being overly burdensome for those already doing a good job.

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in animal welfare to respond to this consultation by the end of February and help shape our plans on this important issue.”


The Registration and Licensing of Animal Sanctuaries and Rehoming Activities in Scotland consultation runs for 12 weeks and closes on 4 March 2018.

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