Backing for renewed bid to ban ‘shock’ collars

The Kennel Club and Scottish SPCA have welcomed a recent motion by North East Conservative MSP Maurice Golden calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a ban on the use of electric shock dog collars.

Mark Dowie
Wednesday, 1st February 2023, 7:00am
Backing for renewed bid to ban ‘shock’ collars

The devices deliver an electric shock to the dog’s neck via a remote control, up to a radius of two miles – meaning a dog not within sight of its owner could still receive the stimulus - and for up to 11 seconds at a time.

The Kennel Club has long-campaigned alongside SSPCA, RSPCA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the British Veterinary Association and Blue Cross for a ban.

Wide-ranging evidence has demonstrated the detrimental effect these can have on the welfare of dogs and, in 2019, a study carried out by the University of Lincoln showed that electric shock collars were no more effective in training than positive reinforcement and dogs’ well-being was compromised, even when used by ‘professional’ e-collar trainers.

Following extensive research and a public consultation, the Scottish Government introduced Guidance condemning the use of shock collars in 2018, and hailed this an ‘effective ban’ on the use of these devices.

However the Guidance has since proven to be ineffective in stopping the collars’ use.

Mr Golden said: “Electric shock collars are not only harmful to our pets, but extensive research has clearly shown that they fundamentally do not fix the cause of ‘undesirable’ behaviour. The use of these devices is unacceptable and we urgently need tougher regulations that prohibit the use of them completely.”

Mark Beazley, Kennel Club chief executive, added: “The Kennel Club has long campaigned for a ban and we are pleased to see that Maurice Golden has brought the issue forward once again in the Scottish Parliament.

“We were delighted when the Scottish Government pledged to ban the use of these devices. Unfortunately, this has since proven to be ineffective and as such we believe that regulations urgently need to be introduced in order to stop the unnecessary suffering of dogs.”

The public are being encouraged to write to their MSPs to urge them to pledge their support for the motion.

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