09 Jan 2015

MSP's try out Electric Shock Collars at Scottish Parliament Pic Peter DevlinJohn Mason MSP joins leading dog welfare organisations call for a ban on electric shock collars in Scotland

John, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, joined forces with two of the UK’s largest dog welfare organisations, the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, in the Scottish Parliament today (8 January) at an event calling for a ban on the use and sale of electric shock collars in Scotland. The event for MSPs, which was sponsored by Christine Grahame MSP and held in conjunction with a debate on the issue in the chamber, raised awareness of the negative effects of electric shock collars on dog welfare and saw a number of MSPs in attendance try out the painful device on themselves.

Electric shock collars are fitted around a dog’s neck and deliver an electric shock via a remote control or automatic trigger. They train dogs out of fear of further punishment by administering shocks to the dog when they do not perform what is asked of them.

Research published by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) concluded that the use of electric shock collars as a training method has a long term negative welfare impact on dogs. Furthermore, an independent survey commissioned by the Kennel Club earlier this year found that 73 per cent of the Scottish public are against the use of electric shock collars and 74 per cent would support the Scottish Government in introducing a ban on their use.

Speaking at the event, John said:

“I am pleased to attend today’s event and support the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust campaign for a ban on the use and sale of electric shock collars in Scotland. With recent Defra research as well as a Scottish opinion poll indicating that electric shock collars are both detrimental to dog welfare and unpopular amongst the general public, I strongly believe that the time is right for the Scottish Government to show their commitment to the welfare of dogs in Scotland and ban these cruel and unnecessary devices.”

The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust strongly believe that every dog should be trained using humane, reward-based methods. These are proven to be highly successful in modifying behaviour including aggression, without subjecting dogs to cruelty. To find out more about the campaign to ban electric shock collars, visit: