Aberdeenshire East MSP backs game-changing announcement

Gillian Martin has welcomed the announcement.
Gillian Martin has welcomed the announcement.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has welcomed an announcement that a new process will be introduced to allow animals that have been taken into possession on welfare grounds to be rehomed without the need for a civil court order.

This will put an end to animals caught up in court proceedings spending months waiting to be rehomed, as was the case when a large-scale puppy farming operation in Fyvie was shut down in November 2017.

When the Scottish SPCA intervened at what is now believed to have been Scotland’s largest puppy farm, over 100 dogs were rescued from horrible conditions.

However, the animals were unable to be rehomed immediately due to the following extensive court action, which only drew to a close when those responsible were sentenced last month.

As well as improving the welfare situation of animals, this new proposal will ease the Scottish SPCA’s spend on caring for animals involved in court proceedings - estimated to have exceeded £1.5m since 2016.

Commenting after the announcement, Ms Martin said: “I am delighted that this announcement has been included in this year’s Programme for Government – a decision I hope was prompted by what occurred in my constituency in 2017.

“The distressing situation in Fyvie where 100-plus dogs and puppies were unable to be rehomed immediately, with many having to live in limbo in shelters until a conviction was reached two years later, need never happen again.”

“I hope the Fyvie situation prompted this decision,” she said.

“I asked Parliamentary questions on the subject and was supported by the SSPCA, who have been calling for the measures now committed to by the government.”