Call for ban on electric shock training collars for dogs

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Animal welfare organisations have joined forces to call for a ban on the sale of electric shock training collars for dogs in Scotland.

The demand from the Kennel Club and the Scottish Kennel Club comes as the two groups prepare to host a meeting in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

Maurice Golden, Scottish Conservative MSP for West Scotland, has urged fellow MSPs to support a ban on the devices, which research has found are detrimental to dog welfare.

The animal organisations are also calling for dog lovers across Scotland to write to their MSPs urging them to support a ban on the “cruel” collars.

Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, said: “In this day and age it is absurd that people are able to give their dog an electric shock in a misguided bid to train them – it is a cruel and lazy method.

“The Kennel Club is growing increasingly concerned, firstly by the lack of progress in the development of regulations, and secondly by the possibility highlighted by the Scottish Government in the last consultation – that when regulations are introduced there may be caveats for vets and behaviourists to advocate the use of electric shock collars, which will effectively equate to a licence to use these barbaric devices.”

Research has highlighted the detrimental impact electric shock collars may have on dog welfare, including physiological effects and an impact on dogs’ learning.

The Holyrood meeting will be attended by academics and dog behaviourists who believe the time is right for the sale and use of the collars to be prohibited in Scotland as they are in Wales.

Mr Golden, a long-time supporter of the campaign, said: “Two years since the consultation closed it is now time for action.

“That is why I am delighted to be sponsoring this event in parliament, to raise awareness and make progress towards a ban.”

The Kennel Club prohibits the use of the devices at its events and competitions, but is concerned “unscrupulous dog trainers” will advocate their use.

The Scottish Government has undertaken consultations in recent years on whether to ban electronic training aids.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Following a public consultation, the Scottish Government made a commitment to develop regulations which will tightly control the use of electronic dog training collars – allowing their use only under supervision and minimising the potential misuse of low quality devices.

“The Scottish Government is working with trainers to develop a recognised qualification for those who wish to continue using stimulus collars with dogs in a controlled, responsible way, as an aid to balanced training rather than a means of causing pain.”

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