MP slams failure to ban shock collar
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