MP slams fail­ure to ban shock col­lar

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JON HEBDITCH

An MP has said Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to “ban” elec­tric shock col­lars for dogs and cats are lit­tle more than “PR gloss”.

Aberdeen South Con­ser­va­tive MP Ross Thom­son has said in a let­ter to En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roseanna Cun­ning­ham that an­i­mal wel­fare cam­paign­ers are “bit­terly dis­ap­pointed” with new guid­ance is­sued by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment that falls far short of a ban.

Se­nior SNP politi­cians have re­peat­edly claimed the de­vices are out­lawed in Scot­land, but Mr Thom­son said ac­tion so far has been lim­ited to up­dat­ing guid­ance for pros­e­cu­tors, which has been marked as “ad­vi­sory only”.

De­fra sec­re­tary Michael Gove an­nounced leg­is­la­tion to ban ESCs in Eng­land in Au­gust.

How­ever, the SNP’s pro­gramme for gov­ern­ment, launched in Septem­ber, does not in­clude any equiv­a­lent leg­is­la­tion for Scot­land.

In his let­ter to the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary, Mr Thom­son said: “It is not the ban you promised.”

A Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment spokes­woman said: “Our po­si­tion is clearly laid out in the new guid­ance, which ex­plains that caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing through the use of elec­tronic dog col­lars may be a crim­i­nal of­fence de­pend­ing on the cir­cum­stances.

“There is a com­mit­ment to re­view the ef­fec­tive­ness of the guid­ance in 12 months’ time. The guid­ance was agreed with the Ken­nel Club and key an­i­mal wel­fare or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing Dogs Trust, SSPCA, and the Bri­tish Ve­teri­nary As­so­ci­a­tion.

“The Scot­tish Par­lia­ment’s En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee has also sup­ported the guid­ance.”

Ross Thom­son MP

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