Posted January 03, 2019 19:53:08 Dog owners are able to opt out of euthanase for dogs under six weeks of age, but this has not been enforced in the UK.
The decision comes after animal rights groups highlighted the high rate of dog bites in the capital.
Dogs under six are now euthanased for reasons other than behavioural problems, and many are being left to die because of the lack of access to veterinary care.
A spokesperson for Animal Aid, which campaigns against dog cruelty, said the practice is “wrong, cruel and unacceptable”.
“The UK has some of the highest dog bites recorded in Europe, with the average bite rate of a dog being between 6 and 10 per 100 square metres, according to the charity,” the spokesperson said.
“It is a sad day for dog owners and their families, who must now have to choose between their dog’s well-being and their right to live.”
It comes after the Scottish Government said it will require all dog owners over the age of 18 to have a permit to keep a pet.
The move comes after an investigation into dog bites revealed that some dog owners had over-purchased dogs, while others were using them as “targets”.
The Government’s announcement comes as the number of dog bite deaths has increased in Scotland, with 1,923 recorded in 2017, up by 16% on 2016.
The Scottish Government has been criticised for failing to make an “urgent” public announcement about the issue.
Animal Aid Scotland chief executive Sue Bailey said the government had failed to provide the public with a clear picture of what was happening with dogs and the impact of over-prescription on the breed.
“We know that dogs can be aggressive and it is not only an issue for people with mental health issues but also for people who are in extreme poverty, as they can be a significant burden on their owners,” she said.
The charity has also launched an online petition to the Scottish Parliament calling for the introduction of legislation to ensure all dogs in Scotland have access to appropriate veterinary care at all times.
The campaign was launched just days after a dog was killed by a dog-killer dog in Glasgow, which led to the Government introducing a ban on the sale of dogs and cats with “inherent” aggression.
It is hoped the petition will draw attention to the lack on awareness of the issue in Scotland.
The new measures will come into effect on January 16.