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Animal Welfare Bill to be introduced 10/09/2019 The Scottish Government has announced that new legislation is to be introduced to provide more protection for service animals such as police dogs and horses

Animal Welfare Bill to be introduced

The Scottish Government has announced that new legislation is to be introduced to provide more protection for service animals such as police dogs and horses, otherwise known as Finns Law.

It follows an incident in 2016 in which a police dog, Finn, was viciously stabbed while protecting his owner, police handler David Wardell, from a suspect who was armed with a knife.

Despite the near-fatal injuries inflicted on Finn, the suspect could only be charged with criminal damage and punished with a small fine. The proposed new laws will mean the potential for greater prison sentences and unlimited fines for the worst instances of animal cruelty, as well as removing the option of claiming self-defence for attacks on service animals.

Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon met Finn and his owner police handler David Wardell last week. She said:

“Like so many of our service animals, Finn selflessly put himself in the way of danger in order to protect us and was very nearly killed in the process.

“Thankfully he survived and, after some equally tenacious campaigning from Dave, they were able to have the law changed in England to provide service animals with the protection they deserve.

“This week’s Programme for Government announced that the Scottish Government is set to create new legislation to further protect animals and wildlife, which will include an increase in the maximum available penalties for the worst offences, and includes implementing Finn’s Law.”

 

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