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OneKind welcomes Scottish Government step towards banning electric shock collars

Released to press on 07 November 2015

Scotland has taken an important step towards banning electric shock collars and other devices that are used to inflict pain on dogs in the name of “training”. A new Scottish Government consultation considers a ban on the devices as a possible option.

OneKind animal protection charity is warning that continued use of e-collars would allow continued, unnecessary animal suffering, and is calling on the government to be bold and ban the devices outright.

OneKind spokesperson Libby Anderson said:

“OneKind is pleased that the Scottish Government is delivering on its commitment to review the use of e-collars. In the 21st century it is extraordinary that anyone can buy an electric shock device on the internet and freely use it to inflict pain on an animal.

“Their supporters claim that such devices are needed to resolve dogs’ behavioural problems. Yet positive, reward-based training is an effective approach and does not involve hurting and stressing your best friend.”

The Scottish Government consultation invites comments on a range of options from retaining unregulated use of e-collars to an outright ban.

Research has shown that as well as causing distress at the time of use, e-collars can leave the animal with a legacy of anxiety, and do not elicit a better response to training than more positive methods.

Libby Anderson added:

“Electric shock collars have been banned in a number of countries including Wales, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. If we want to be known as a country that takes animal welfare seriously, Scotland should do the same.”

ENDS

Notes to editor:

1. OneKind is a Scottish animal welfare charity based working to end animal suffering everywhere through campaigns, research and education.

2. The Scottish Government consultation opens today and runs to 29 January 2016.

3. There are four options proposed:

  • Status quo (Produce industry guidance for dogs owners and trainers on the proper use of electronic training collars).
  • Develop guidance or a statutory welfare code (Produce a code of practice or animal welfare code under Sections 37 and 38 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006).
  • Develop regulations on the use of electronic collars (Introduce regulations or legislative controls under Sections 26 and 27 of the 2006 Act).
  • Ban the use of electronic collars (Introduce regulations to ban the use of electronic collars in Scotland under Section 26 of the 2006 Act).

The consultation can be accessed here:
https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/animal-welfare/electronic-training-aids

For further information or photographs please contact Sarah Moyes on 0131 661 9734sarah.moyes@onekind.org

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