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MSP's debate Scotland's 'under resourced' fisheries

Fishermen in Scottish waters are struggling Credit: PA

MSPs are debating what steps can be taken to protect and improve Scotland's inshore fisheries.

In communities like Eyemouth in the borders, it's a key industry, and fishermen there are struggling because of low stocks.

The Scottish Government says it's committed to developing the sector, but Fishermen's leaders say the groups set up to manage inshore waters are under resourced, compared to those in England.

Fight to overturn docking ban taken to Holyrood

A gamekeeper from the Scottish Borders has taken his fight to overturn a ban on removing working dogs tails to the Scottish Parliament.

Alex Hogg from Eddleston near Peebles wants the same tail docking rules to apply in Scotland as in England.

Currently the surgical removal of puppies tails is banned for working dogs north of the border.

Animal welfare charities say the procedure is cruel and want the ban to remain. Jenny Longden sent this report:

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Tail docking is "for the welfare of these dogs"

A Scottish Borders gamekeeper is leading a campaign to overturn a ban on docking working dogs tails.

Alex Hogg, Chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, says he now buys his dogs from England to get round the ban, which could lead to good working dog lines being lost in Scotland.

"It's for the welfare of these dogs because when they break their tail, and their tail becomes broken you are looking at amputation. Once you have got to amputate a dog's tail it's like cutting a limb off. It takes months and months to mend, months and months of recuperation and months and months of agony. It is a long term welfare issue."

– Alex Hogg, Chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association

He says docking a dog's tail as a puppy is much less painful than dealing with a broken tail as an adult dog.

"We have now got lots of rural vets that are coming on board and saying this and I think it will help hugely. They are seeing damage now from these adult dogs and they are saying themselves that look, surely to give a tiny bit of pain when the puppy is only under three days, the tail is like a piece of rubber, it's just nipped off and that is it. But once you get to an adult dog and it's into full amputation, it is horrendous trying to get it mended."

– Alex Hogg, Chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association

4,000 sign petition to overturn docking ban

Campaigners for and against tail docking for working dogs are being asked to submit their views to the Scottish Government.

Animal welfare groups say the practice of docking puppies tails is unnecessarily painful for the animals, but gamekeepers say it stops damage to their tails later in life.

They want the Scottish Parliament to overturn an outright ban on the procedure.

Gamekeepers ask Scottish Parliament to allow tail docking

A Gamekeeper from the Scottish Borders is leading a campaign to overturn a ban on docking working dogs tails.

Alex Hogg, Chairman, Scottish Gamekeepers Association Credit: ITV Border

The surgical removal of a puppy's tail is completely banned in Scotland except when necessary as a result of disease or injury.

In England tail docking is allowed for puppies that are bred as working dogs.

Alex Hogg, Chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, says he now buys his dogs from England to get round the ban, which could lead to good working dog lines being lost in Scotland.

He says docking their tail as a puppy is much less painful than dealing with a broken tail as an adult dog.

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Scottish Government increase fines for littering

Scottish Government has increased fixed penalty notices payable for littering and fly tipping.

Anyone caught littering can now expect to pay £80 rather than £50, while those found fly-tipping will now pay £200.

The new fines came into effect as of yesterday, 1 April.

The government have also reminded people that dropping cigarette butts is considered as littering.

For a full breakdown of the new legislation you can visit the Scottish Government's website.

Railway boost for Dumfries and Galloway on the cards

Dumfries and Galloway could get four new railway stations, and see Stranraer station redeveloped, if the Scottish Government agrees to pay for it.

The council decided today that it would put in a bid to get a slice of a £30m pot, which has been set aside to redevelop railways throughout the country.

If successful, Stranraer would be refurbished and new stations would be built at Thornhill, Eastriggs, Dunragit-Glenluce and Beattock.

The council says they would be built in that order - based on the greatest need - as passenger numbers continue to grow in Southern Scotland.

At Thornhill, a train hasn't stopped at the station since 1965, but locals believe it could be a real boost to the town.

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