Liam Kerr, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the North East Region started an online petition just 3 days ago and has since gathered over 8000 signatures.
Mr Kerr’s petition is aimed at ensuring that people who harm a police dog can be criminally prosecuted. He says on his petition: “In Scotland, hundreds of service animals work daily to keep us safe, whether sniffer dogs, police dogs or horses, they all work with the same dedication to duty as the men and women in our Police force.
“Unfortunately, in Scotland, our laws don’t protect them the same way and currently, the law views a Police animal as little more than property.
“This means that if an animal is assaulted or attacked in the line of duty, the assailant is likely to receive a punishment akin to breaking a window.”
He goes on to cite an example of a police dog in England having to undergo emergency surgery for serious stabbing wounds, yet the perpetrator was only charged with criminal damage for the harm caused to the dog. Something Mr Kerr believes is unacceptable.
His campaign aims to pressure the Scottish Government into introducing a new criminal offence of harming or killing a service animal.
The petition now aims to acquire the remaining 2000 signatories to take the total up to 10,000. It currently shows no sign of stopping, having picked up an additional 300 signatures in the last hour, more are sure to follow. You can view the petition here.