Scotland politics

Border collie Maya crowned top Holyrood hound

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Media captionMSPs' pets compete for Holyrood dog of the year award

The Scottish Parliament has hosted its first MSP's dog of the year competition.

Emma Harper's border collie Maya took the top prize, while Mark Ruskell's greyhound Bert won the public vote.

Members from across the political spectrum entered their canine companions in the contest.

The event was organised by the Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust, aimed at raising awareness of issues affecting dogs in Scotland.

After Ms Harper's four-year-old rescue dog Maya won the first prize, the MSP, who has previously led a Holyrood debate about puppy trafficking, said she was "absolutely delighted" with the prize.

She said: "While it's a fun and light-hearted occasion it's also a great opportunity to discuss the importance of responsible dog ownership and animal welfare.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The competition was the first of its kind at Holyrood
Image copyright PA
Image caption MSPs from across the political spectrum entered the contest

"I have three dogs and all of them have been adopted from rescue centres. I would encourage anyone hoping to get a dog to adopt a rescue dog as they are vet checked, microchipped and desperately in need of a loving home."

Tory member Bill Bowman came second with bulldog Astra, a Dogs Trust animal which is seeking adoption, while former SNP environment secretary Richard Lochhead was third with his terrier Cinder.

The Kennel Club conducted a separate public vote on their website, which was won by Green member Mark Ruskell's retired racing greyhound Bert.

The event was sponsored by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Image caption There was a doggy agility course as well as a judging panel
Image caption Mark Ruskell's greyhound Bert won the public vote
Image copyright PA
Image caption Emma Harper's border collie Maya took the top prize

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