Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has called on the SNP Government to ensure that a new animal welfare commission will not delay legislation designed at tackling livestock worrying.
The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP largely welcomed Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon’s statement on improving animal welfare legislation, particularly the plans to increase sentencing for animal cruelty.
Mr Carson also backs the proposals that will see a consultation undertaken on permitting inspection bodies to rehome or sell on animals they have taken into their possession to protect their welfare.
However, Mr Carson challenged the Minister to ensure the setting up of an Animal Welfare Commission, would not delay the potential to strengthen current powers to tackle the worrying rise in attacks by dogs on sheep.
Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “The problem of livestock worrying is ever increasing for our farmers, with an extremely worrying rise in incidents recently.
“While there was much to welcome in the Minister’s statement, I am concerned that a further commission being set up could well delay progress on this serious issue.
“I believe that there is scope within current laws if enforced to their full to make a difference now whilst working through the legislative process to bring much needed reform to animal welfare laws.
“I will be continuing to ask the SNP Government to look more closely at livestock worrying and how this problem can be tackled sooner rather than later.”