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Politics / Scottish Tory leader says there is a ‘very strong case’ for more funding for Dogs Against Drugs

Douglas Ross (left) with handler Megan Grant and one of the dogs at the NorthLink Ferry Terminal on Monday. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

SCOTTISH Conservatives leader Douglas Ross says he will put the case to the government for more funding for local charity Dogs Against Drugs after visiting the team whilst in Shetland.

Ross was given a demonstration by three drugs dogs at the NorthLink ferry terminal in Lerwick on Monday morning.

The Highlands and Islands MSP is in Shetland until Wednesday.

Speaking to Shetland News at the ferry terminal, Ross said he supported the idea of the SNP-led Scottish Government providing more funding for Dogs Against Drugs.

It is understood that it costs the charity, which detects drugs coming into Shetland, around £150,000 a year to run, and while it receives funding from government – in addition to donations – its budget is said to be tight. It does not receive direct funding from Police Scotland.

Dogs Against Drugs was set up in Shetland back in 2002 in an attempt to tackle the issue of illegal drugs in partnership with the police.

Ross said the charity does “incredible work” both in detection and also education.

“I’m certainly going to back to the Scottish Government, speak to the drugs minister, speak go the justice minister, to say this is an area that needs investment,” he said.

“They have had government support but it has remained the same for the last 12 years.

“Obviously costs have increased, so I think there’s a very strong case to get that funding increased.”

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