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Draft Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill Consultation

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Scottish Executive
Environment and Rural Affairs Department
Agriculture Group

To: Agricultural related organisations, animal welfare organisations, trades and veterinary interests, local authorities, and police forces.

Pentland House
47 Robb's Loan
Edinburgh EH14 1TY

Telephone: 0131-244 6462
Fax: 0131-244 6616
animal.health@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
http://www.scotland.gov.uk

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16 May 2005

This document is also available in pdf format (239k)

Dear Sir or Madam

I am writing to invite comments on the enclosed consultation document and draft Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill.

In February 2003 the Scottish Executive issued a paper "Animal Disease Control: Proposals for Legislation in Scotland - Consultation Document on Protecting Scotland's Livestock Industry and Wider Rural Economy". This proposed amending the Animal Health Act 1981 by giving new powers to enhance Scottish Ministers' ability to respond quickly to exotic animal disease outbreaks. These powers would be used only in the event of a serious and fast-spreading animal disease outbreak. Some of the provisions would mirror those in the Animal Health Act 2002 already passed at Westminster for England and Wales.

A separate consultation on proposals to amend the Protection of Animals (Scotland) Act 1912 was issued in March 2003. This paper aimed to address the specific problem of the lack of statutory powers available to local authorities to remove neglected farm livestock to a place of safety. Responses to this consultation showed a clear desire for a much wider reform of existing animal welfare legislation. A further consultation "Proposals to revise existing animal welfare legislation" was issued in March 2004. This proposed to modernise, strengthen and consolidate Scottish animal welfare legislation relating to animals that are commonly domesticated in the British Islands, are under the control of man, or not living in a wild state.

A large number of responses were received to the animal health and animal welfare consultations and these have been taken into account in preparing the draft Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill. This current consultation brings together the separate health and welfare provisions into one draft Bill and poses a series of questions on their main policy issues. It represents a further stage in the consultation process for these provisions.

Comments on the proposals should be sent to the address below by Monday 4 July 2005. I would be grateful if you would clearly indicate in your response which question or parts of the consultation document you are responding to as this will aid the analysis of the responses. You should also complete and return the Respondee Information Form (which is attached to the letter) with your response. This will let me know how you wish your response to be handled.

Responses should be sent to:

Clare Hicks
Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Bill Team
Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department
Room 347, Pentland House
47 Robb's Loan
EDINBURGH

EH14 1TY

You can, if you prefer, submit your response by e-mail to: animal.health@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

If you have any queries contact Clare on 0131 244 3064.

If you would like further copies of this consultation or the document in an alternative format, such as large print, Braille, audiotape or disc, or in a community language, please get in touch with Clare using the contact details above. I expect that most respondents will find it easier to send in a written response, but if you would find it easier to respond in some other way (such as by telephone, by audiotape or at a meeting) please get in touch with Clare.

In addition to seeking written responses, I have arranged a number of meetings where you can express your views and seek clarification on the proposals. All the meetings will start at 7:30 pm and are open to all. If you would like to attend please would you telephone Mark Allen on 0131 244 3062. The meetings will be held at:

15 June

Inverness

Thistle Hotel

Milburn Road, IV2 3TR

16 June

Aberdeen

Marriott Hotel

Overton Circle, Dyce, AB21 7AZ

21 June

Glasgow

Grosvenor Hotel

Grosvenor Terrace, G12 0TA

22 June

Edinburgh

Holiday Inn Edinburgh

Corstorphine Road, EH12 6UA

This consultation, and all other Scottish Executive consultation exercises, can be viewed online at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations. You can telephone Freephone 0800 77 1234 to find out where your nearest public internet access point is.

The Scottish Executive now has an e-mail alert system for SE consultations (SEconsult). This system allows stakeholder individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly e-mail containing details of all new SE consultations (including web links). SEconsult complements, but in no way replace SE distribution lists, and is designed to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with all SE consultations activity, and therefore to be alerted at the earliest opportunity to those of most interest. I would encourage you to register.

Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Executive working methods. Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Executive, there are many varied types of consultation. However, in general Scottish Executive consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body. Consultation exercises may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as public meetings, focus groups or questionnaire exercises.

Typically, Scottish Executive consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the area of consultation, and they are also placed on the Scottish Executive web site enabling a wider audience to access the paper and submit their responses. All the responses to this consultation will be made available to the public in the Scottish Executive Library by 31 August 2005, unless confidentially is requested. All responses not marked confidential will be checked for any potentially defamatory material before being logged in the library or placed on the website. The library is located at Saughton House, Edinburgh (K Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD, telephone 0131 244 4552).

The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of the decision making process. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review
  • inform the development of a particular policy
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented.

If you have any comment about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to Clare.

Yours faithfully

Ian W Strachan signature

Ian W Strachan
Animal Health and Welfare Division

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