Ban on shock collars in Scotland a win for animal welfare

26 January 2018

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to ban the use of electric shock collars and other electronic training devices.

BVA has worked alongside campaigners to ban these aversive training methods across the UK, with Wales banning them in 2010. Scottish Government had initially planned to regulate the use of shock collars, but this was not supported by BVA and animal welfare charities.

Commenting, vet Melissa Donald, BVA Scottish Branch President, said:

“This is a real win for animal welfare. Electronic training devices have a negative, painful effect on dogs and, as Scottish Government has now recognised, can cause unnecessary suffering.

“We know from leading veterinary behaviourists that using fear as a training tool is less effective than positive reinforcement and can take a toll on the dog’s overall welfare.

“We are grateful to Scottish Government for listening to the expert advice from veterinary surgeons and behaviourists who have first-hand experience of what can go wrong when aversive training methods are used to control and punish animals.”

BVA will continue to push for an outright ban on the sale and import of shock collars across the UK. John Fishwick, BVA President, added:

“With effective bans on the use of these devices in Wales and Scotland, we want to see action taken in England and Northern Ireland, including a UK-wide ban on their sale and import.

“Anyone in need of advice on dealing with pet behaviour issues should always speak to their vet to get advice on how to do it positively and humanely.”