The aim of this Code is to help you to look after your dog properly. Under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 (the Act) anyone who is responsible for an animal has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure its welfare. The legislation quoted in Appendix 1 is not part of the Code but is intended to highlight the relevant legal requirements. The law, as quoted, is that in force on the date of publication or reprinting of the Code.
Generally, there is a duty to comply with legislation. Although the Code does not have legislative effect, it is intended to promote and give examples of good practice. Failure to comply with a provision of this Code, whilst not an offence in itself, may be relied upon as tending to establish liability where a person has been accused of an offence under Part 2 of the Act. Equally, compliance with a provision of the Code may be relied upon as tending to negate liability by a person in any proceedings for an offence under Part 2 of the Act.
This Code covers all domesticated dogs for which a person is responsible.
A dog under veterinary supervision may have additional or special needs resulting from treatment which will supersede the requirements of this Code. As veterinary bills can be expensive, owners may wish to consider taking out appropriate pet insurance.
In addition to veterinary surgeons you will also find reference in the Code to 'pet care specialists'. These are people who, through qualification or experience, can provide expert advice on welfare and some aspects of health for one or more types of pet animal. Examples are clinical animal behaviourists, veterinary nurses and dedicated welfare organisations.
To find out more about the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and details of your responsibilities under it, see Appendix 1 at the end of this Code. For further links, including links to other sources of information, see Appendix 2.
This preface is not part of the Code but is intended to explain its purpose and broad aims. Similarly Appendix 1, which provides information on the relevant legal requirements and Appendix 2, which lists some additional sources of information, are not part of the Code itself.
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