Skip to main content

Language: English / GĂ idhlig


Bills and Laws

Welfare of Dogs (Scotland) Bill

This Member’s Bill seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of dogs by encouraging responsible ownership and providing for the registration of unlicensed litters.

The Bill is at Stage 2



This is a Member’s Bill, introduced by Christine Grahame MSP. The Bill aims to improve the health and wellbeing of dogs by:

  • establishing a more responsible and informed approach to obtaining and owning a dog
  • allowing the Scottish Government to create a register of litters where puppies are sold or given away by someone who is not a licensed breeder

Under the proposals, the Scottish Government must make and publish a code of practice that should be followed by: 

  • a person who wants a dog to keep as a pet
  • a person who is considering selling or giving away a dog to someone else

Under the code, potential owners must consider:

  • whether their own situation is suited to owning a dog
  • whether they will be able to provide for all of the dog’s needs throughout its life

The Bill also sets out that the Scottish Government can make a register of unlicensed litters of puppies. This would be to ensure that where litters are not born under a dog breeding licence they are still accounted for. Under this change, it would not be possible for puppies to be sold in Scotland by someone who is not regulated in some way.

Why the Bill was created

The aim of the Bill is to improve the health and welfare of dogs. 

The Member’s view is that buying a puppy or dog in a responsible way can make a difference to that animal's welfare. The Member also believes it could change the nature of the puppy trade.

The Bill aims to:

  • help to influence the behaviour of those getting a puppy or dog
  • lower the demand for puppy farms and other similar practices