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The Scottish Ministers have the responsibility for, and powers to deal with, Animal welfare in Scotland. The links below provide information and guidance on the specific issues.

Animal Welfare Codes of Recommendation

In order to maintain high levels of livestock welfare, various codes of recommendation have been issued on the Authority of the Scottish Parliament.

The Commercial transport of Animals and the Welfare of Pet Animals in transit

Our objective is to ensure high standards of welfare for transported animals; which should be treated in a humane and caring way at all stages of a journey.

Farm Animal Welfare Council

The Farm Animal Welfare Council is an independent advisory body established by the Government in 1979. Its terms of reference are to keep under review the welfare of farm animals on agricultural land, at market, in transit and at the place of slaughter; and to advise the Government of any legislative or other changes that may be necessary.

Reporting welfare concerns

Farmed animal welfare is the responsibility of the State Veterinary Service (SVS), through the Animal Health Divisional Offices (AHDOs). Any specific concerns you may have regarding the welfare of farmed animals such as Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, Goats and Poultry should be reported to your local Animal Health Office.

Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

The Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 was enacted on 6 October 2006. The Executive has prepared notes to aid understanding by providing general guidance on the content of the Act and where appropriate, to give additional notes on its general and specific provisions. They do not form part of the Act and have not been endorsed by Parliament.

The Guidance Notes are not, and are not meant to be, a comprehensive description of the Act. This guidance is intended to be used as a reference document and needs to be read in conjunction with the Act. Whilst these notes are intended to be as helpful as possible, they cannot give a definitive interpretation of the law. Only the Scottish courts have that power.

For further information on the any animal welfare issues, please contact:

Animal Welfare

P Spur

Saughton House

Broomhouse Drive


EH11 3XD


Telephone: 0131-244-6673
Fax: 0131-244-9797
E-Mail: Animal.Health@gov.scot

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