Scottish vets President Melissa Donald has voiced her delight the Scottish Government’s decision to ban the use of electric shock collars and other electronic training devices.

The Scottish Government had initially planned to regulate the use of shock collars, but this was not supported by the BVA and animal welfare charities.

Melissa, who is President of the Scottish branch of the British Veterinary Association, said: “This is a real win for animal welfare. Electronic training devices have a negative, painful effect on dogs and, as the Scottish Government has now recognised, can cause unnecessary suffering.

The former Largs vet added: “We know from leading veterinary behaviourists using fear as a training tool is less effective than positive reinforcement, and can take a toll on the dog’s overall welfare.

“We are grateful to the Scottish Government for listening to the expert advice from veterinary surgeons and behaviourists, who have first-hand experience of what can go wrong when aversive training methods are used to control and punish animals.”

Rachel Casey, director of canine behaviour and research at Dogs Trust, said: “This is an important step in the right direction for dog welfare, as these devices use the principle of inhibiting behaviour through the application of an aversive event, which can have a serious negative impact on the welfare of dogs, and has also been associated with an increased occurrence of undesired behaviours.”