SNP pursues ban on "barbaric" shock collars at Westminster

Following the Scottish Government’s ban, SNP MPs now seek to make the devices illegal across the UK

THE SNP is taking their battle against electronic shock collars to Westminster, demanding that reserved powers are employed to make the sale and use of such devices illegal across the UK.

Following the Scottish Government’s announcement on 24 January that it would be instituting a “prompt and effective” ban on the controversial means of dog-training, described by the British Veterinary Association as “a real win for animal welfare”, efforts to see the ban extended UK-wide has prompted collaboration between SNP MSPs and MPs.

On 26 January, SNP MPs Tommy Sheppard and Deirdre Brock, together with SNP MSP Ben Macpherson, who launched a personal campaign against shock collars last year and has been consistently vocal on the issue, launched a Westminster public petition calling on the UK Government to “ban the sale of shock collars and other harmful electronic training aids for dogs”.

The petition is currently available to sign at the constituency offices of all three SNP parliamentarians, and according to the SNP will be available online soon. 

READ MORE: Parties scramble for credit as Scottish Government announces shock collar ban

Macpherson commented on the Scottish Government’s decision and the next stage of the campaign, saying: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Government is introducing a prompt and effective ban on the use of electric shock collars and other electronic training devices that can cause pain or distress to dogs - these devices are capable of causing suffering, and fully banning their use in Scotland is absolutely the right thing to do.

“However, this positive action from the Scottish Government isn’t the end of the matter – the power to ban the sale of shock collars lies at Westminster and now it’s time for the UK Government to step up and do the right thing.

“It’s time for the Tories to introduce a UK ban on the sale and distribution of these cruel devices, and also to follow the examples set by Scotland and Wales and ban the use of shock collars in England.

“On the back of yesterday’s good news from the Scottish Government, I will now continue to work with animal welfare organisations and SNP colleagues at Westminster to push the UK Government to play its part and ban the sale of shock collars across the UK.”

“It’s time for the Tories to introduce a UK ban on the sale and distribution of these cruel devices.” SNP MSP Ben Macpherson

Commenting further, Tommy Sheppard added: “I very much welcome the Scottish Government’s ban on the barbaric use of electronic shock collars on dogs and congratulate my colleague Ben Macpherson MSP and fellow campaigners on their success.

“But responsibility for the sale of such devices lies with the Tories in Westminster so we now need to turn our attention to London. It’s vital they follow the example set by Scotland and Wales and ensure there is an outright ban on the sale and use of such collars across the UK.”

Deirdre Brock also said: “There’s loads of evidence that positive reinforcement works better than punishment for training - dogs love their tucker and react to rewards. Zapping them with an electric shock is like something from medieval times, let’s end the sale of these devices now.”

Macpherson’s initial campaign won widespread support from animal welfare groups, many of which continue to champion the latest development. Dee McIntosh, director of communications and external affairs at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, said: “We are greatly encouraged by the Scottish Government’s decision, which will mirror the ban already in place in Wales, and urge the UK Government to follow their example.”

Picture courtesy of the office of Ben Macpherson MSP

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