Campaigner’s Holyrood success

AN ARBROATH campaigner has persuaded Scottish ministers to investigate the over-breeding and abandonment of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, writes Jennifer Newton.

On Tuesday, Ian Robb of Help for Abandoned Animals submitted a petition to the public petitions committee at the Scottish Parliament calling for tighter controls on the breeding of the dogs.

The charity, which has kennels at Kinaldie, takes in a huge number of abandoned staffies and often have trouble finding new homes for them.

And the situation south of the border in England is so bad in places some healthy dogs are having to be put down as they cannot be re-homed.

However, on Tuesday Mr Robb along with Dr Alison Wilson from the Perthshire Abandoned Dogs Society and Lisa Hird from Staffordshire Rescue Scotland addressed the Holyrood committee with their concerns.

And after the committee decided to continue the petition by looking into whether the Scottish Government could extend existing control of dogs legislation.

There is also the possibility of asking the parliament’s rural affairs committee to investigate the issue too.

Mr Robb said: “I’m happy that the petitions committee have accepted that there is a very real problem and decided to pursue the matter.

“We were given a very fair hearing and it was clear from the questions asked of us by committee members that they grasped the issue and recognised the need to act.”

Supporting Mr Robb on Tuesday was Angus South MSP Graeme Dey who also addressed the committee. And he too found it a positive step in trying to raise awareness of the problem.

Mr Dey added: “Ian, along Lisa Hird and Dr Alison Kennedy put forward a very moving and compelling argument and I’m delighted that the committee decided to continue the petition.

“There are clearly challenges to be overcome if we are to properly address this matter but the decision of the petitions committee undoubtedly represents a step forward.”