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A Shocking Way To Treat A Dog

08 January 2015    11:00

Leading dog welfare organisations call for a ban on electric shock collars in Scotland

Two of the UK's largest dog welfare organisations, the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, joined forces with Christine Grahame MSP in the Scottish Parliament today (8 January) at an event calling for a ban on the use and sale of electric shock collars in Scotland. The event for MSPs, held in conjunction with a debate on the issue in the chamber, raised awareness of the negative effects of electric shock collars on dog welfare and saw a number of MSPs in attendance try out the painful device on themselves.

Electric shock collars are fitted around a dog's neck and deliver an electric shock via a remote control or automatic trigger. They train dogs out of fear of further punishment by administering shocks to the dog when they do not perform what is asked of them.

Research published by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) concluded that the use of electric shock collars as a training method has a long term negative welfare impact on dogs. Furthermore, an independent survey commissioned by the Kennel Club in 2014 found that 73 per cent of the Scottish public are against the use of electric shock collars and 74 per cent would support the Scottish Government in introducing a ban on their use.

Speaking at the event, Christine Grahame MSP, who led the debate in the chamber, said:

"I am pleased to bring this important issue of dog welfare before the Scottish Parliament today, both at my debate and the event organised with the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust. Both organisations have long campaigned for a ban on the use and sale of electric shock collars in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. With recent Defra research as well as a Scottish opinion poll indicating that electric shock collars are both detrimental to dog welfare and unpopular amongst the general public, I strongly believe that the time is right for the Scottish Government to show their commitment to the welfare of dogs in Scotland and ban these cruel and unnecessary devices."

The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust strongly believe that every dog should be trained using humane, reward-based methods. These are proven to be highly successful in modifying behaviour including aggression, without subjecting dogs to cruelty.

MSPs who tried out electronic shock collars on themselves at the event are:

  • Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale
  • Kenneth Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North
  • Elaine Smith, MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston
  • Neil Findlay, MSP for Lothian
  • John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston
  • Elaine Murray, MSP for Dumfriesshire
  • Sarah Boyack, MSP for Lothian
  • Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian            
  • Margaret McDougall, MSP for West Scotland
  • Stuart McMillan, MSP for West Scotland
  • Cara Hilton, MSP for Dunfermline
  • Richard Lyle, MSP for Central Scotland
  • Willie Coffey, MSP for Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley

To find out more about the campaign to ban electric shock collars, visit:



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