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Bad news for dogs as Scotland fails to act over shock collars

The Kennel Club has expressed its disappointment and frustration following the announcement from the Scottish Government not to move forward with a ban on electric shock collars until Defra has completed further research on the impact of using the devices on dogs. The research is costing the Government a total of £469,000, at a time when Defra resources for companion animals are scarce.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Obviously we are disappointed with the decision taken by the Scottish Government, but given the cross-party support we have from MSP’s we will continue to push for a ban. The Welsh Assembly has already taken the decision to ban the use of shock collars using existing scientific evidence and is clearly now leading the way. Sadly Scotland are now severely lagging behind their Welsh counterparts.

Reward based

“For Scotland to await Defra study results, which look to take up to two years, means that dogs in Scotland will continue to suffer - pain and fear are not humane methods by which to train a dog. There are many effective positive training methods which are reward-based and train dogs quickly, easily and reliably, with absolutely no fear, pain, or damage to the relationship between the owner and the dog. There is no justification for electric shock training devices.”

For further information, including a template letter to write to your MP/MSP, and advice on the Kennel Club campaign to ban electric shock collars, contact the External Affairs department on 0870 606 6750 ext 301 or visit and click on press office / campaigns and schemes.

Mrs Jean Fairlie, Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Scottish Kennel Club said: ‘Scottish Kennel Club is extremely disappointed that the Scottish Government will not be moving forward with a ban on the use of Electric Shock Collars on Scottish dogs until the live animal research by DEFRA is completed. This research may take up to two years at a cost of almost £500,000 and at a time when resources are scarce. During this time, Scottish dogs will continue to suffer.

‘The Welsh Assembly is committed to a ban based on existing research and will be leading the way in stopping the use of pain as a training method for dogs.

‘An Electric Shock Collar does what ‘it says on the tin’. It produces an electric shock to the dog’s neck but the strength and the timing are controlled by the handler. There are many other humane, reliable, reward-based training methods which create a strong bond with the owner and do not produce fear based on pain.

‘The Scottish Kennel Club and the Kennel Club have gained extensive cross party support and, together with other welfare organisations, will continue to meet with MSPs to push for a ban.’