Scottish government to consult on electric shock dog collars

Richard Lochhead

The Scottish government is to consult on the use of electric shock dog collars which could result in stricter controls or an “outright ban”.

The devices, already banned in Wales, are operated by remote control and deliver a shock to pets as punishment for bad behaviour.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said that more consultation was necessary.

While he had been urged to ban the collars due to “valid concerns” about their potential misuse, he had also “been made aware of numerous situations where these training aids, when used properly, have greatly benefited animal welfare.”

He added: “That is why I will publish a further consultation within the next few months. This will take into account recent developments in collar technology, welfare research and mechanisms to mitigate the risks of collar use.

“The options on the table will include a ban or controls on the type of collars that may be used and how they may be used.”

He pointed to other parts of the world, such as New Zealand and Australia, where the use of the collars is a success with proper controls in place.

Mr Lochhead added: “Scotland is a nation of animal lovers and we want to make sure animals benefit from the highest possible standards of animal welfare.

“The use of electronic training collars is clearly an issue that many people feel strongly about, with advocates on both sides of the debate citing animal welfare as their main driver.”

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