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Scottish Government Policy on Electronic Training Collars

Guidance on Dog Training Aids

In light of concern regarding the potential misuse of electronic training collars (e-collars), in January 2018 we announced our intention to issue guidance on these and other training methods under Section 38 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.  On 15th October 2018, after agreement had been reached with key animal welfare stakeholders and the guidance had been considered by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament, we issued Guidance on Dog Training Aids under the Act. 

The Guidance makes it clear that training that includes unpleasant stimuli or physical punishment can cause pain, suffering and distress and that any such pain, suffering and distress caused by an inappropriate training method, including electronic collars, may constitute the offence of causing unnecessary suffering under that Act. This Guidance may be considered relevant in a prosecution. Although guidance is advisory, a court may, at their discretion, take into account compliance or non-compliance with guidance in establishing liability in a prosecution.

The effectiveness of this Guidance in preventing welfare compromises due to aversive training methods will be reviewed after 12 months.  In due course it may be incorporated into a revised code of practice or wider guidance for the welfare of dogs, along with additional guidance on other topics of dog welfare not currently covered in detail in the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs. 

Click here to go to the published Guidance on Dog Training Aids