Before we begin the stage 3 proceedings on the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill, I want to make the usual announcements about the procedures to be followed.
We will deal first with amendments to the bill and then move to the debate on the motion to pass the bill. For the first part, members should have a copy of the bill as amended at stage 2; the marshalled list, which contains all the amendments that I have selected for debate; and the groupings, which have been agreed. Amendments will be debated in groups where appropriate.
An amendment that has been moved may be withdrawn with the agreement of members present. It is, of course, possible for members not to move amendments should they so wish. The electronic voting system will be used for all divisions. I will allow an extended voting period of two minutes for the first division that occurs after each debate on a group of amendments.
Members should note that the marshalled list contains a number of manuscript amendments. The Presiding Officer has agreed under rule 9.10.6 that all those manuscript amendments may be moved. Should any further manuscript amendments be lodged, it will be for the occupant of the chair at the time to decide whether to give agreement in that case.
Should there be a tied vote on any amendment, the occupant of the chair will exercise the casting vote against the amendment.
On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Although I accept the right of the Presiding Officer to select amendments for the stage 3 debate, I want to draw your attention to the fact that, by not selecting my amendment 26, which required the causing of unnecessary suffering to be included as part of the offence under section 1, you have greatly restricted the opportunity for the issue of cruelty to be debated this afternoon. It is quite clear from the correspondence that other members and I have received that people throughout Scotland have a misapprehension that the bill makes specific reference to cruelty.
I am being very lenient in allowing you to put that on the record, Mr Mundell.
The Presiding Officers give serious