As a great animal lover, whenever I have had the misfortune to hear about Shock collars used to make Cats & Dogs “behave” and do as their owners demand of them, it filled me with horror.
I like to believe that we are a Nation of animal lovers, and to some extent we are..however, things like this come to the surface from time to time, and remind me just how cruel “Animal Lovers” can be.
In 2010 Wales banned the use of shock collars on dogs and cats. Since then several influential animal welfare organisations have been calling on Scotland, England and Northern Ireland to also introduce a ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars.
Animal lovers have been petitioning for the ban of shock collars for many years at various events. In 2015, in response to another group of people calling for a ban on their use, Scottish MP Christine Grahame responded by saying:
“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.”
Two years later (2017) the Scottish Government announced that it would only restrict the use of Electric Shock Collars, and that their use would still be possible, whilst under supervision. Thankfully, several months later the Scottish Government Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham announced that they will indeed go further than that.
On the 24th January 2018, it was reported that the Scottish Government decided to implement an immediate ban on aversive training devices. Draft guidance has already been published, with plans to introduce it with guidance issued under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 in the coming months.
Draft guidance states that: “Causing unnecessary suffering is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. This includes suffering caused by “inappropriate training methods.” Once the guidance has been finalised, the courts will be able to take it into account when establishing liability in a prosecution.
The Dog’s Trust response to this announcement:
The Dogs Trust have stated that they would “prefer the ban to be introduced under Section 26 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 as the current proposal means it’s being issued as ‘Guidance’. Thy have therefore asked the Scottish Government to ensure that this will be fully enforceable and will be responding to the consultation outcome on this issue.”
Scottish Conservative MP Maurice Golden he will “ensure that the Scottish Government sticks to its promise and imposes a total ban on these collars to further protect dogs from cruelty and unnecessary pain.”
Shock collars need to be prohibited at a UK level
Scotland’s award-winning current affairs magazine, Holyrood, points out that “under current devolution arrangements, controls on the import of electronic devices are reserved to the UK Government. As such, unless importing shock collars is prohibited at a UK level, any restriction on their sale in Scotland could be circumvented through online purchases.”
Harry Huyton, director of animal charity OneKind said: “With the use of electric shock collars banned in Wales and now Scotland, our attention must turn to Westminster. Even with these bans, anyone can still buy an electric shock collar in the UK for as little as £20 and break the law by using it to abuse animals. If we are to end their use for good, then Westminster needs to legislate against them too.”
Electric (training) Shock collars are already banned in many other Countries, such as Wales, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, Germany and in some parts of Australia.
It would seen that the onus is now on England and Northern Ireland to ban the use, sale and import of these devices.
If you feel strongly, as we do here at Deano’s Pet Food that the sale and use of these horrid, barbaric devices should be banned and made a crime, then we would encourage you to contact your local MP to take it to Government on your behalf.
We were going to post images of the horrendous damage to animals these collars have caused, but decided against that, as there are enough pictures of cruelty to animals on Social media as it is.
Please feel free to leave your comments below, and hopefully, between us all, we can make a difference