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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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Flags at half mast outside Scottish Government HQ

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“The death of Nelson Mandela marks the passing of a great statesman and a global icon, so it is only appropriate that we here in Scotland, a land Mr Mandela had great affinity with, mark his passing appropriately.

“That is why I have today instructed that the South African national flag should fly at half-mast alongside the Saltire outside St Andrew's House in Edinburgh.

“The whole world is marking the loss of a great leader – all of Scotland feels that loss, and we join the people of South Africa in particular in marking Mr Mandela’s passing.”

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