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Making Scotland the best place for wildlife

SSPCA Director of Innovation and Strategic Relations, Gilly Mendes Ferreira, looking at the camera and holding a small white dog

On 21 March 2024, the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill was passed in the Scottish Parliament, marking a momentous day in Scottish animal welfare. We caught up with Gilly Mendes Ferreira, our Director of Innovation and Strategic Relations, to learn more about how this new legislation will help us protect more animals than ever before.

After years of dedication and campaigning, I am absolutely thrilled that the Wildlife Management and Muirburn (Scotland) Bill has been voted through at the Scottish Parliament. The Bill includes a range of measures that will give greater protection to wildlife, bringing us another step closer to making Scotland the best place in the world for an animal to call home. 

For decades now, we’ve been calling for a ban on the use of all forms of snares. Used to target predators such as foxes, snares cause unimaginable suffering to the animals caught in them. They’re indiscriminate and we’ve even seen cases of domestic animals injured by them. This week, our dream of outlawing these cruel contraptions finally became a reality! Glue traps are also banned except under exceptional circumstances. We were also pleased that the Bill will introduce greater regulations around the use of traps and muirburn activities. 

The Bill also grants us increased investigatory powers to aid Police Scotland in enforcement when it comes to tackling wildlife crime in Scotland. These extended powers will allow our inspectors already on location investigating animal welfare offences to search for, examine and seize evidence. Our special investigations unit combat some of the most horrific forms of animal abuse, conducting over 40 wildlife related investigations in 2023 alone which included badger persecution, raptor persecution and investigations specifically relating to snaring. As the only animal welfare organisation in the UK that acts as a specialist reporting agency to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), having these enhanced powers means we can do even more to support Police Scotland and together put an end to wildlife crime in Scotland.

Thank you to all the other organisations who have stood with us in calling for these changes to happen for many, many years. And thanks also go to the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee and many MSPs for working alongside us in getting this Bill passed. This truly is a historic decision for animal welfare, and one that paints Scotland as a nation of animal lovers. 




If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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