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Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Section 20 – Mutilation

109.This section prohibits the mutilation of any protected animal unless the purpose of the mutilation is medical treatment or the procedure is one carried out in accordance with regulations made by Scottish Ministers or in circumstances specified by Scottish Ministers Subsection (6) imposes a duty on the Scottish Ministers to consult interested persons before making regulations under this section.

110.Subsection (3) makes it an offence to take (or cause another person to take) a “protected animal” from Scotland for the purpose of having a “prohibited procedure” undertaken.

111.Prohibited procedures are those which involve interference with the sensitive tissues or bone structure of the animal, for example, tail docking, castration and dehorning. Subsection (5)(b) provides that this section does not apply to certain procedures to be specified in regulations. It is intended that normal farming practices (such as castration of lambs) will be permitted under regulations made under this section.

112.The definition of “prohibited procedure” in subsection (4) is based on the definition of “mutilation” adopted by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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