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Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill



This Member’s Bill was introduced by Emma Harper MSP. It amends the existing law on what is called “livestock worrying”, which is where a dog chases, attacks or kills farmed animals.

The Bill:

increases the maximum penalty to a fine of £5,000 or imprisonment for six months
allows the courts to ban a convicted person from owning a dog or allowing their dog to go on agricultural land
gives the police greater powers to investigate and enforce livestock worrying offence. This includes by going onto land to identify a dog, seize it and collect evidence from it
allows other organisations to be given similar powers
extends the “livestock worrying” offence to cover additional types of farmed animal


You can find out more in the document prepared on behalf of Emma Harper, MSP that explains the Bill.

Why the Bill was created


Dog attacks cause suffering to animals, cost farmers money and cause them distress.  Emma Harper MSP believes the current law is out of date and isn’t working effectively.  
She hopes that making these changes to the law will encourage people to keep their dogs under control.  Where attacks do occur, she hopes the Bill will make it easier for them to be investigated and the people responsible to be punished. 

You can find out more in the document prepared on behalf of Emma Harper MSP that explains the Bill.

Where do laws come from?

The Scottish Parliament can make decisions about many things like:

  • agriculture and fisheries
  • education and training
  • environment
  • health and social services
  • housing
  • justice and policing
  • local government
  • some aspects of tax and social security

These are 'devolved matters'.

Laws that are decided by the Scottish Parliament come from:

Bill stage timeline

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill is currently at Introduced


The Member in charge of the Bill, Emma Harper MSP sends the Bill and related documents to the Parliament.

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