Scottish Government Announces Ban On Electric Shock Collars

  • 25/01/2018
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dog-collar-PR-web.jpgThe Scottish Government has announced an “immediate and effective” ban on the use of electric shock collars and other cruel devices used in the training of dogs and cats.

OneKind Director Harry Huyton said:

“Electric shock collars are cruel, unnecessary and ineffective. I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has today taken a stand against cruelty and taken decisive action against their use.”

The ban will be introduced through guidance issued under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. The proposals are expected to be consulted upon and scrutinised by MSPs on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee before being finalised.

In addition to banning electric shock collars, the guidance advises against all aversive training techniques that use pain and distress.

Harry Huyton continued:

“Training dogs by causing them pain and distress is unacceptable in a modern, animal-loving nation like Scotland. Not only is it cruel, but aversive training is ineffective, which is why the vast majority of dog trainers use positive, reward-based training techniques.”

The Scottish Government previously consulted on whether to ban electric shock collars or not in 2016, but initially chose to regulate their use, rather than bring in a ban. The new proposal offers a welcome change of approach.

OneKind research found that 91% of dog trainers who responded supported a shock collar ban, and according to a YouGov survey, 77% of the Scottish public feel the same way. Electric shock collars are already banned in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Wales, but continue to be permitted in England. Preventing the sale of electric shock collars is a reserved power.

Harry Huyton continued:

“With the use of electric shock collars banned in Wales and now Scotland, our attention must turn to Westminster. Even with these bans, anyone can still buy an electric shock collar in the UK for as little as £20 and break the law by using it to abuse animals. If we are to end their use for good, then Westminster needs to legislate against them too.”

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