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19-08-2010 - Hot branding ban a very important decision for welfare

Hot branding ban a very important decision for welfare

13 August 2010

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) are delighted at the announcement from the Scottish Government that the hot branding of horses and ponies will be banned in Scotland.

The announcement follows a consultation by the Scottish Government driven by BVA and BEVA policies calling for a full ban last year.

Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA, said:

“This is a very important decision for the welfare of horses and ponies. Hot branding is undoubtedly painful and causes unnecessary suffering.

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has made this decision and hope that the rest of the UK follows.”

Dr Madeleine Campbell, President of BEVA, added:

“Hot branding requires the efficient destruction by burning of the superficial skin layers leaving a distinct scar. This technique is clearly no longer justifiable on welfare grounds and we are very pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns.”

Notes to editors

1. The Scottish Government consultation on the amendment to the Prohibited Procedures on Protected Animals (Exemptions) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 took place between December 23 2009 and March 15 2010. In the consultation letter the Scottish Government stated:

“Since July this year, it has been a requirement for all horses and ponies to be microchipped and this has considerably weakened the case to allow hot branding. In addition, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) issued a recent policy statement which stated:

‘Hot branding is generally carried out without analgesia and is undoubtedly a painful process. The BVA believes that the continued use of hot branding as a means of identifying certain breeds is unacceptable and should be banned on welfare grounds’.”

2. The new regulations will be laid in the Scottish Parliament in September for approval by MSPs.

3. For more information please contact the BVA media office.

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