Tue 13 Mar, 2018

Animal welfare principles must also be transferred to Scots law to shield us from a race-to-the-bottom by Tory Brexiteers and in the face of an SNP Government that is happy with cruel and unnecessary live animal exports, fox hunting and dog tail docking. Mark Ruskell MSP

Scottish Green MSPs are urging parliament to support their amendments to the Scottish Government's EU Continuity Bill to plug gaps in environmental and animal welfare protections.

Ahead of this afternoon's (13 Mar) Stage Two debate and tonight’s Finance & Constitution Committee votes on amendments to the Bill, the Scottish Greens called on MSPs from other parties to back changes including:

  • Enshrining EU animal welfare protections and environmental principles, such as the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle
  • Ensuring all EU environmental protection powers find a home in Scottish institutions
  • Creating a “sifting committee” to stop major changes to Scots law slipping through without scrutiny
  • Creating an “emergency brake” so Parliament can halt any government powers, if used unjustifiably

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“Enshrining EU principles into Scots law through this Continuity Bill is essential if we’re to protect our environment and safeguard animal welfare. For example, the precautionary principle has helped minimise harm to the pollinating insects vital to our food production by stopping the use of risky pesticides, and the polluter pays principle has driven investment to improve the quality of our drinking water and bathing beaches.

“Animal welfare principles must also be transferred to Scots law to shield us from a race-to-the-bottom by Tory Brexiteers and in the face of an SNP Government that is happy with cruel and unnecessary live animal exports, fox hunting and dog tail docking.”

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"Our democracy, our environment and animal welfare are all at risk from the Tories’ Brexit crisis, and while the Continuity Bill is a necessary response, it has gaps that must be addressed. Green amendments will safeguard our environment and animal welfare, and ensure any changes to Scots law are agreed by a majority of parliament rather than a minority government.

“Since Friday, over a thousand people have signed a petition supporting our bid to strengthen the Continuity Bill, and I hope MSPs from other parties back that call when it comes to the votes in Committee tonight.” 

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