URGENT: Please email your MSPs asking them to support amendments to Animals & Wildlife Bill this Wednesday 17th June 2020
MSPs have placed amendments to the Animals & Wildlife Bill to be voted on this Wednesday 17 June in the Scottish Parliament. This chance will not come again for a very long time. If the Parliament votes these amendments into the bill it would be hugely important for badger welfare into the future.
IN BRIEF: Please consider urgently asking your MSPs to VOTE FOR THE BADGER AMENDMENTS 49, 50, 51, 52, 58 and 1 in relation to the Animals & Wildlife Bill in the Scottish Parliament this Wed 17 June 2020.
Below are some of the pertinent points in relation to the amendments above:
1. Sett offences are offences against the animals
Damage to or interference with setts can result in death of badgers and their dependent cubs under inhumane conditions such as crushing, asphyxiation, starvation, and drowning. Many people who want to kill or get rid of badgers attack the setts. There can be no reason for damaging a badger sett other than to harm the animals. Sadly, existing penalties on damage to badger setts do not consider the relationship between sett damage and an animal’s life. The highest level of penalty needs to be available for sett as well as badger offences.
The sett protection amendments 49, 50, 51 & 52 lodged by Colin Smyth MSP place sett offences in the most serious category of animal welfare offences on a par with offences against the animals this being proportionate to the suffering caused to the animals. The amendment 58 by Claudia Beamish asks for the option for empathy skills training for badger offenders.
2. Vicarious liability
Accountability is obscure and often not heeded when works are conducted on land where badgers are found, which can result in death of badgers and their dependent cubs under inhumane conditions when setts are damaged; badgers are crushed, asphyxiated, starved or drowned or are caught in traps. This could be prevented (Poustie 2015).
A limited, tightly defined form of vicarious liability amendment 1 has been lodged by Mark Ruskell MSP which would extend to badgers whilst protecting a landowner or manager from liability if the employee or agent commits a badger offence out-with their land or employ. Commercial bodies and landowners acting within the law have nothing to fear from this nor need to make costly arrangements.
You can find contact details for your local MSPs here. Please conact them to request their support for amendments 49, 50, 51, 52, 58 and 1 which all relate to badgers. Thank you for your support.