|Pressure mounts over shock collars
Campaigners are planning to put pressure on the Scottish Government to ban electric shock collars before a debate on the issue takes place at Holyrood on 25th January next year.
They have gathered support from an impressive range of organisations and individuals to demonstrate the overwhelming opposition that exists to the use of this controversial training tool.
Actor and animal advocate Peter Egan has shown support for their cause and they have been backed by the Kennel Club, the Scottish Kennel Club, Battersea Dogs Home, Blue Cross, Animal Trust Vets, Vets for Pets, Edinburgh Dogs and Cats Home, Animal Trust and James Wellbeloved amongst many others.
A petition has been launched by Maurice Golden MSP already at the time of writing has over 14,000 signatures and it will be handed to the Scottish Government.
It has been suggested that some people are not signing the petition because Mr Golden is a Conservative member but campaigners are keen for people to ignore tribal political instincts and concentrate on the issue at hand.
This flurry of activity by campaigners follows the Scottish Government's intention, stated last month, to continue to allow the sale and use of electric shock collars on dogs despite the fact that they are already banned in Wales, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark, Quebec. Germany are currently considering a ban and more countries are expected to follow suit and ban these collars.
The Campaigners want people to write to their MSP and call for them to support a ban. They would also would like people to write to Roseanna Cunningham who is the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.
At a round table meeting about the issue that was held in the Scottish Parliament it is reported that Ms Cunningham suggested that shock collars should be licensed for use only by vets and professional trainers and behaviourists.
One person who was at that meeting said, 'That is like banning smacking but then going on to say that children can still be smacked by teachers and head-masters.'
They also pointed out that the British Veterinary Association (BVA) along with the majority of vets are opposed to electric shock collars and support a complete ban on the device.
Questions have been raised about the influence that the Electric Shock Manufacturers Association (ECMA) and the Association of Balanced Dog Trainers (ABDT) have on the Scottish Government.
There would be a financial implication if a ban were to be introduced not just for the people who make and sell the collars but also the trainers who advocate their use.
The collars are supposed to be used as a last resort but it has been reported that some trainers use the collars simply to teach a dog to sit.
It has taken ten years to get the Scottish Parliament to consider a ban on electric shock collars and campaigners fear that if they can not convince the Government of their case before the debate in January it may be another decade before they will get the chance again.