The Scottish SPCA, Scotland’s animal welfare charity, has been helping animals in need for over 175 years. We rescue animals and nurse them back to health before finding them loving new homes or releasing them back into the wild. As both an enforcement agency and a charity, the assumption should be made that the Scottish SPCA supports and endorses current Scottish law relating to animal welfare and principally the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Therefore the policies detailed in this document do not relate to current laws which we support and enforce. Instead, these policies relate to the aspirations, principles and beliefs of the Scottish SPCA, initiatives we support and current practices we seek to change.
Animal welfare standards must continue to be measured and improved and these policies are intended to promote best practice. No document such as this can be completely comprehensive and we will take a separate view on any matter outside the areas covered. The Scottish SPCA is an animal welfare charity, not an animal rights or a conservation organisation. It is important to understand the distinctions. Animal rights organisations sometimes take the view that animals should have the same rights as humans and, for example, that it is wrong to eat animals or use them for any sport or entertainment. The Scottish SPCA accepts that some animals will be bred for human consumption, that some animals can be used for educational purposes and that some animals can be used in sport provided the right regulatory regimes are in place. A conservation organisation is generally focused on ecological matters and the conservation of endangered species, but not necessarily focused on the welfare of an individual animal. The Scottish SPCA is focused on helping individual animals irrespective of whether the species is endangered. The primary activity of the Scottish SPCA is to ensure that animals in Scotland enjoy high standards of animal welfare, as defined by the five freedoms irrespective of whether that animal has been bred to be part of the food chain, as a companion animal, lives within a zoo environment or in the wild.
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