Animal welfare - Scottish Government activity: Scottish Animal Welfare Commission review

Review of Scottish Government activity affecting the welfare of animals, as sentient beings, by the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission (SAWC).

1. Background

Under Regulation 5(2)(b) of the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission Regulations 2020, one of the functions of the Commission is to provide advice on any matters concerning the welfare of protected animals on which the Commission considers it should offer its advice.

At its inaugural meeting in March 2020, the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission agreed that, in addition to its obligation under Regulation 14 of the 2020 Regulations to report on its own activities to the Scottish Ministers and Scottish Parliament, it would be desirable for the Commission also to review relevant activity by the Scottish Government.

The Commission believed that such a review would facilitate its provision of advice to promote the welfare of animals in Scotland. It would also go some way towards replacing the requirement, previously placed upon the UK government (and thereby, the four administrations) by Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), to pay full regard to animal welfare.

In its first review, published in November 2021, the Commission reviewed the activities of the Scottish Government from 12 May 2016 – 5 May 2021 (Session 5 of the Scottish Parliament), including its legislative proposals and delivery.

This review considers the first year of Session 6, which is the period covered by the Programme for Government 2021-2022 A Fairer, Greener Scotland.



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