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Scottish politicians call for ‘real ban’ on shock collars

The Scottish government must introduce a “real ban” on shock dog collars, a cross-party group of MSPs has said.

The government has said the use of the controversial devices in Scotland is “effectively” banned. However, critics believe that because the ban is in the form of guidance the practice continues.

A letter, sent by MSP Maurice Golden and signed by members of every party, warns Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon that the current guidance is ineffective and calls for the practice to be prohibited through regulations. They say this would allow those using shock collars to be prosecuted.

The letter reads: “Electric shock collars continue to be used as even though a ban was referred to, there were no supporting regulations, only guidance and as a result, even though the Scottish SPCA received 47 reports to its animal helpline regarding electric shock collars being used on dogs from 2019 to 2021, there was nothing that could be done to bring forward a prosecution.”

The letter adds: “We now believe the time is right for the government to commit to its animal welfare commitment to ban electric shock dog collars by way of Regulations, rather than ineffective guidance.”

Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay, Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Beatrice Wishart, Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw and SNP MSP Jenni Minto are among the politicians to have singed the letter.

The Scottish SPCA and The Kennel Club have backed the call.

A Scottish Government spokesperson told STV: “Dog training that includes unpleasant stimuli or physical punishment may cause unacceptable pain, suffering and distress. Causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal is a criminal offence.

“The use of electronic dog training collars is currently being investigated by the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission [SAWC].

“We expect the results of this investigation to be published later this year and will consider any recommendation put forward by the SAWC.”

One Comment

  • Domi

    Tell this to thousands of sheep every year. What about their walfare? People that never worked with dogs that killed livestock should have nothing to say about matter. License the e collars if you have to. Btw is perfectly legal to shoot the dog, but you can’t startle it for a few seconds to avoid livestock. Makes no sense.

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