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Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2021

The Act

3.Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 (“the 1953 Act”), where a dog attacks or chases livestock, or is at large in field of sheep, its owner and (if separate) the person in charge of it at the time, commit an offence which carries a maximum penalty of level 3 on the standard scale (currently £1,000).

4.The Act significantly increases that maximum penalty and enables the court to make orders in respect of persons convicted of the offence. It provides additional powers to the police for the investigation of the offence (including powers to seize dogs from land or premises and detain them for the purpose of evidence-gathering). The Act also extends the application of the offence to cover new livestock species and clarifies its application to working dogs. Finally, the Act alters the way the offence is described and defined so as to give greater prominence to the most serious instances.

5.The Act is in eight sections, the first six of which amend the 1953 Act. The final two sections deal with commencement and the Act’s short title.

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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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