17 Dec 2014

Dennis and GnasherThis week (11th December), Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity with two rehoming centres in Scotland, joined forces with John Mason MSP and special guests Dennis and Gnasher to help raise awareness for the charity’s compulsory microchipping campaign at a photocall event in the Scottish Parliament.

8,847 Scottish owners have availed of the free microchipping service offered by Dogs Trust across the country this year, demonstrating a real enthusiasm for this important component of dog welfare. The charity is dismayed, however, that the Scottish Government has still failed to announce its decision on the proposed introduction of compulsory microchipping, despite launching a consultation on the issue nearly a year ago.

Speaking at the event, John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, said:

“Microchipping has a number of welfare benefits – the most important being the ability to rapidly identify a stray or lost dog and return it to its owner. In 2014, 4,893 lost or straying dogs were picked up by Local Authorities in Scotland. Dogs Trust believes that compulsory microchipping will help to reduce these numbers, thereby cutting kennelling costs for Local Authorities and reducing the burden on animal welfare charities.”

Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO, added:

“We were delighted to bring Dennis and Gnasher to the Scottish Parliament today and highlight our on-going campaign for compulsory microchipping with MSPs. Sadly, Dogs Trust has been calling on the Scottish Government to introduce this vital tool of dog welfare and reunification for years now. We strongly welcomed the consultation on this issue that was launched last year, but nearly twelve months later we are still waiting on a Government decision.”

“Reducing the nation’s stray dog population is at the very heart of Dogs Trust’s ethos, which is why we have committed a considerable amount of money, for a limited time period, to ensure no dog owners will lack the financial ability to microchip their dog. We have chipped over 10,000 dogs in Scotland since our roving “chip teams” began their work in September 2013, and also offer free chipping by appointment at our two Scottish rehoming centres in Glasgow and West Calder. It is clear that the Scottish people want compulsory microchipping, and it is now the turn of the Scottish Government to act and legislate for its introduction without delay.”

To find out more about when the roaming Dogs Trust teams will be in your area or learn more about the benefits of microchipping visit

Weekly Video Blog: GAMH

12 Dec 2014

This week John discusses Glasgow City Council’s decision to slash the budget of the Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) by 40%.

Motion S4M-11876: GAMH’s Future

11 Dec 2014
That the Parliament notes the decision of the executive committee of Glasgow City Council to cut the budget of the Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH), which is headquartered in Shettleston, by a reported 40%; believes that this will lead to the future of GAMH’s services, including its three community service centres, being cast into doubt; understands that many vulnerable people across Glasgow rely on these services; believes that the issues surrounding mental health should not be underestimated, and notes the view that the council should reconsider its decision.

Motion S4M-11829: Congratulating Clyde Gateway

08 Dec 2014

That the Parliament congratulates the Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company on its recent annual meeting and in its achievements in bringing renewal and investment to over 2,000 hectares of land in Glasgow’s east end and Rutherglen; notes what it sees as the positive contributions that the company has made to these areas, including through the success of the Commonwealth Games, the East End Regeneration Route, which has now been renamed as the Clyde Gateway, its work in the decontamination of land and with the Red Tree business centres in Rutherglen and Bridgeton; welcomes the completion of the new Riverside East office building in Dalmarnock, which it understands will become the head office for over 1,000 police officers and support staff, and, in order to complete the task of regenerating what it considers a historically neglected area, looks forward to continuing support for the gateway from South Lanarkshire Council, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.

This motion was put forward jointly alongside James Kelly MSP.