Scotland To Ban Shock Collars And British Lawmakers May Follow

#Shockinglylegal is spreading awareness in countries where these collars are still allowed

By Catalina Barrios

Photo: Shutterstock Petrovskii Ian

There is no fool-proof way to raise a little one up to balanced adulthood, be that child or pup.  You can find large volumes of advice on the best foods, most innovative toys, and impressive tricks, but there is no book that tells you how to be the best dog owner. Each owner is as unique as their dog, but what all paw-rents have in common is the desire to create the best life possible for their pets.

There has been a controversy for some time, in the pet world, over the use of shock collars. Earlier this year, The Government of Scotland proposed new guidance on electronic training collars under their Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland Act) 2006. The purpose of the collar is to correct behavioral problems, but their effectiveness is questionable and cited as cruel.

Photo: Shutterstock ARENA Creative

The new proposed guidance, although not finalized, works to end the use of shock collars:

This guidance, once finalised, may be considered relevant in a future prosecution. Although the guidance is advisory, a court may take into account compliance or non-compliance with the guidance in establishing liability in a prosecution.

(Source: Government of Scotland)

“We are a nation of animal lovers, and the use of these punitive devices can cause harm and suffering, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to our pets”, said Environment Secretary Michael Gove. He added the British government is working on proposing to ban the use of electric shock collars as a way to improve the welfare of animals.

Photo: Shutterstock Parilov

Caroline Kisko, secretary of  England’s largest organization dedicated to the welfare of dogs, said there are different positive training methods for dogs. This does not include  the use of electric shock collars that can cause physical and psychological harm to the animal. She said, “Shock collars are often marketed as a harmless quick-fix solution. The truth is that far from providing a solution, they can easily cause more problems than they seek to fix”.

A survey completed by over 2,000 people in the UK,  conducted by the charity, Dogs Trust, found out that 31% of respondents thought shock collars were already banned. The non-profit then launched a campaign convincing the government to ban shock collars, which they called #Shockinglylegal

According to Dogs Trust, shock collars can send between 100 to 6000 Volts to a dog’s neck, and can continuously shock for up to 11 seconds per cycle. The effects of the shock can be devastating, including yelping, squealing and crouching. The dog can even develop a state of constant fear, similar to PTSD.

Photo: Shutterstock Charlene Bayerle

There are no laws banning these collars in the United States even though there are different organizations, such as the Humane Society, that oppose their use. The use of these “training” devices is illegal in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland (PETA). Shock collars will soon be illegal in Scotland as well. (BBC news)

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