The Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act means that people who cause unnecessary suffering to animals face fines of up to £20,000.

A year in prison could also follow acts of animal cruelty under the new law. Local authorities around Scotland are given powers to remove animals from situations where they believe they are at risk of suffering.

Advocates for Animals welcomed the measures contained in the act. Policy Director Libby Anderson said: “Let us hope that the new obligation on animal owners will mean no more ponies left neglected in fields, no more dogs tied up outside for days on end, and no more animals kept in conditions which are barely tolerable.”

Main photo © OneKind