Scottish Animal Welfare Commission: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission.

The Scottish Animal Welfare Commission has been established to provide independent advice to Scottish Ministers on the welfare of sentient animals, primarily on wildlife and companion animal welfare.

The Commission has been established under section 36 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 to consider and provide advice on the welfare of protected animals. The definition of “protected animals” in the 2006 Act excludes wild animals unless under the control of man on a permanent or temporary basis. The function of providing advice on the protection of wildlife under section 23 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 has been assigned by Ministerial declaration.

The Commission will primarily focus on the welfare of wild and companion animals in Scotland. The Commission will only consider areas that are within the normal current remit of the UK Animal Welfare Committee and the UK Zoo Expert Committee where these relate to the overall responsibility to consider the welfare needs of sentient animals in all areas of Scottish Government policy or at the specific request of the Minister. The Commission will not consider matters that are reserved to the UK Government, including the welfare of animals used in scientific procedures.

The Commission will provide written reports and opinions to Scottish Ministers giving practical recommendations based on scientific evidence and ethical considerations on the welfare of sentient animals in Scotland, and the impact of policy on welfare.

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