The British Horse Society has welcomed the newly published draft Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill – because it would put in place better protection for horses and ponies and introduce a long-awaited duty of care for everyone responsible for looking after equines.
Most specifically for the horse industries, Section 24 of the draft Bill would create licensing and registration provisions for certain activities involving animals. It would be under this provision that the licensing of livery yards in Scotland could occur as secondary legislation to the Bill itself.
Helene Mauchlen, The BHS’s Scottish Development Officer, said:
“This draft Bill is very wide ranging and enables the Executive to put in place all sorts of checks to make sure those responsible for horses are legally obliged to look after them properly and ensure they do not suffer.
“A major breakthrough is that instead of waiting for a horse or pony to be desperately hungry and suffering or near to death before action can be taken, as has happened in the past, welfare organisations would be empowered to remove an animal before it starts to suffer.”
“BHS Scotland will be looking at the draft most closely as there are implications for horse and pony sales, business regulations, bio-security and extended powers of slaughter as well as increased opportunities to tackle current challenges to equine well being such as Ragwort infestation and endemic conditions such as laminitis.
“The Bill also makes provision for codes of practice to enshrine good management.”
A short consultation on the Bill was opened to the public on 16 May and all animal lovers are urged to make themselves familiar with the Bill.
A full draft of which is available at below.
Consultation on the Bill will end on 4 July, and, prior to that, the Scottish Executive is holding four open meetings across Scotland to allow people to express their views.
For further information, please contact:
Scottish Development Officer,
The British Horse Society,
01764 656334 or
The British Horse Society is a membership organisation and the largest equestrian charity in the UK.
The draft Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill also puts in place provisions to help protect Scotland against any future animal disease outbreak and enable swift action to tackle disease should an outbreak occur.
The Bill also proposes raising the age at which a person is able to buy an animal from 12 years to 16 years, and suggests a ban on the giving of animals as prizes.