Kennel Club hails Scottish ban on shock training devices a victory for dogs and dog lovers

The Kennel Club has welcomed the announcement by Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP to ban the use of electric shock collars in Scotland.

The announcement follows a series of consultations, culminating in a meeting hosted by the Kennel Club during which welfare, veterinary and behaviour organisations all came together to call on the Scottish Government to follow the example of the Welsh Assembly and ban the use of shock collars in Scotland. Petitions were also tabled by prominent MSPs including Maurice Golden and Ben Macpherson which attracted 25,000 signatures.

Although the collars are marketed as harmless, and range in price between £10 and over £200, shock collars train dogs out of fear and pain, rather than a natural willingness to obey. They cause anxiety-related ebehaviours, re-directed aggression and, of course, physical pain to dogs. Extensive research has proved that training a dog with a shock collar is harmful and unnecessary, given the vast array of positive dog training tools and techniques available, which is why the devices are banned not only in Wales, but in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, and Germany and in some territories of Australia, including New South Wales and Southern Australia.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “It is a huge relief to know that the Minister has taken on board the advice of leading academics, vets, behaviourists and welfare organisations and will ban the use of shock collars in Scotland. This sends the clearest possible message to dog owners that, far from being a harmless quick fix training solution, shock collars cause long term physical and psychological harm to dogs and that training them in this manner is unacceptable.

“We would be delighted to work with the Minister to ensure a ban is introduced at the earliest opportunity and are grateful to the many MSPs from all parties who have worked tirelessly to support our campaign, including Maurice Golden, Ben Macpherson, Christine Grahame and Colin Smyth. It is critical now that Westminster government does the right thing for dog welfare and follows Scotland’s ban with a ban of its own on the sale and use of electric shock collars.”

Maurice Golden MSP for West Scotland said: “I am very pleased the Scottish Government is finally announcing a ban on the use of electric shock collars for dogs and that they have listened to our campaign and the 20,000 people who signed my petition.

“I’m glad that our campaigning has finally forced the SNP to see sense on this issue; that electric shock collars are harmful, and that the expert advice is clear that electrocuting dogs doesn’t help train them.

“I will therefore ensure that the Scottish Government sticks to its promise and imposes a total ban on these collars to further protect dogs from cruelty and unnecessary pain.”

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson said: “The Scottish Government’s decision to ban the use of shock collars and electronic ‘training aids’ capable of causing pain or distress to dogs is an extremely positive move.

“It’s clear the SNP Government has listened to growing public concerns about these devices and to the views of key animal welfare organisations, including One Kind, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, The Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, Blue Cross and the SPCA, who have all been part of this successful campaign.
“I will now continue to work with animal welfare organisations and SNP colleagues to push the UK Government to play its part and ban the sale and distribution of shock collars across the UK.”

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