Scotland first again, again



First on banning smoking in public places, first on minimum alcohol pricing, first on free-care for the disabled, first to have statutory targets for tackling poverty and homelessness, first to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, first on baby boxes and free sanitary products, first to propose giving refugees the right to vote and now first to ban the use of electric collars on dogs.

Electric collars have been used for some time and, in particular, for dogs with ‘behaviour problems.’ However, accepting the argument that they are cruel, regardless of any effect, the Scottish government plans to ban them altogether.

This seems to be another example of research-based policy formulation. Here’s what the British Veterinary Association has to say:

‘Electric pulse devices are sometimes used in dog training as a form of punishment to prevent a dog from repeating bad behaviour. However, although training a dog is important for their wellbeing, research shows that electric pulse collars are no more effective than positive reinforcement methods.

BVA and BSAVA consulted with experts and examined evidence which found the collars raise a number of welfare issues, such as the difficulty in accurately judging the level of electric pulse to apply to a dog without causing unnecessary suffering.’

Several other studies seem to be saying the same thing. See:

‘A new study has found that the use of shock collars (also known as electronic collars or e-collars) can cause symptoms of distress in dogs, and the effects only worsen as the level of shock is increased. The study, entitled “The Welfare Consequences and Efficacy of Training Pet Dogs with Remote Electronic Training Collars in Comparison to Reward-Based Training” was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Plos One and was conducted by researchers at the University of Lincoln in the UK.’

Speaking as life-long ‘dog-lover’, I didn’t need the research to know it was just wrong.


* the photograph above is from a site advising on purchase of the collars (!)


7 thoughts on “Scotland first again, again

  1. johnrobertson834 January 25, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    Yes, thanks, saw that. Good to see the SNP standing up for themselves.


  2. Alasdair Macdonald January 25, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    The dog-collar ban (no Scotland has not fulfilled Tom Nairn’s wish about clergymen!) is actually the result of collaboration amongst MSPs from across Holyrood, with a Conservative and an SNP MSP being the main sponsors. This is an example of how a chamber which would not normally have a single party majority should ideally conduct itself. So, there are two gold stars to be handed out.

    However, GMS, of course, gave prominence only to the Tory, who, to be fair made no party-political claim.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 January 25, 2018 / 5:38 pm

      Thanks for listening to GMS. I’m still not ready. As for Kirk meenisters, they don’t seem so bad anymore. There’s far worse about. I’d leave them be now.


      • Alasdair Macdonald January 25, 2018 / 8:52 pm

        Listening to GMS is mainly a habit, but, it also helps me keep to time in my post-rising routine, with the regular time-checks and gives me updates on things like transport and weather in the Glasgow area, and not south of Potter’s Bar, that I will have to take account of when I set out for the day. It also gives me an idea – no more – of what ‘big issues’ might have unfolded overnight.

        I do not watch TV in the morning, because, unlike radio, I would actually have to stop and watch it. I hate the mandatory cheerfulness of so many independent radio voices, and, I do not want to hear music, not even Radio 3!

        I have an ultra cheap mobile mainly so that my wife can contact me and give me my instructions. It has no internet connections and does not take photies.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ludo Thierry January 25, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Those poor pooches in the picture look terrified. What a ghastly concept these electric -shock collars are. Well done the Scottish Parlt and SNP Scottish Govt.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ludo Thierry January 26, 2018 / 1:07 pm

    Hi John – saw a comment in one of the papers regarding Wales beating Scotland to this particular bit of legislation – so made a v. quick check – this seems correct. Welsh Assembly seemed to pass something similar back in the Plaid/Lab coalition in, I think, 2010. The relevant Minister was Plaid’s Elin Jones. (is she Presiding Officer in Wales currently?) See below from beeb:

    Wales the first part of the UK to ban pet shock collars
    Wales’ Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, who announced plans for the ban last month, said she was “very pleased”.

    In 2011 a fine of £2,000 was levied against a certain Phillip Pook for using one of the collars with the Border Collie, Dougie (see below from Daily Mail on-line – given the Mail’s ‘apology’ to Nicola today we have to take all their stories as potential ‘fake news’ but I suspect this one was pukka):

    A dog owner who fitted an electric shock collar to his pet has been fined £2,000 in the first case of its kind.
    Phillip Pook’s Border Collie, Dougie, got a shock every time he approached a fence surrounding the house.

    Pook, 48, is the first person to be convicted of using the device after Wales banned their use last March – the first European country to do so.

    Honest – am not trying to be a pedant – merely trying to assist the blog maintain fullest possible accuracy!

    Liked by 1 person

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