Animal welfare groups appealled to officially prohibit the use of electric shock collars in Scotland since it causes unnecessary pain and suffering to dogs. The collars are typically used to punish pets for bad behavior. A remote is used to deliver shock to the pets that are wearing the collar.
Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said that he has been urged to ban the collars due to "valid concerns" about their potential misuse.
"Equally, I have been made aware of numerous situations where these training aids, when used properly, have greatly benefited animal welfare. 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," he said, The Scotsman reported. "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."
The collar is already banned in Wales while it is properly and successfully used in other countries like New Zealand and Australia.
Animal welfare organizations including animal protection charity OneKind, Kennel Club, the Scottish SPCA, the RSPCA, the Dogs Trust, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Blue Cross oppose the use of electric collars as it has negative effects on dogs even when used for training. The organizations are also promoting an online petition to ban electric shock and prong collars across the whole UK.
Some MSPs have expressed their support of the ban like MSP Dennis Robertson who compared the use of the collars to hitting a child.
MSP Neil Findlay also supported the plea saying: "They are painful and do not solve underlying behavioral problems in dogs, which might mean that actually this could result in more, not less, aggressive and bad behavior by dogs who are unfortunate enough to have one of these collars round their neck," reported the Daily Record.
In 2010, the Welsh Assembly banned the use of e-collars with a penalty of up to £20,000 or up to six months imprisonment, BBC reported.
What do you think? Are shock collars a good way to train pets or are they needlessly cruel? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!