The use of electric dog collars should be banned in Scotland, the Scottish government has announced.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said causing pain to animals by “improper training methods is clearly totally unacceptable.”
The ban will be introduced through directives issued under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 (Scotland).
It has been well received by charities and animal activists, including the Scottish Conservative MSP Maurice Golden, whose petition calling for a ban on the devices has attracted more than 19,000 signatures.
Ms Cunningham said: “After carefully considering the concerns expressed by stakeholders and the public regarding electronic dog training collars, in particular the availability on the Internet of inexpensive devices that can be purchased by anyone and used to deliver painful electric shocks, I have decided to take action to effectively and quickly ban their use in Scotland.
“Causing pain to dogs by improper training methods is clearly totally unacceptable and I want there to be no doubt that painful or unpleasant training for dogs will not be tolerated.
“I am particularly keen to support the work of Scottish law enforcement agencies with effective and practical measures so that anyone found causing pain to dogs through the use of collars or other devices can be prosecuted like them Deserves that.
“I will therefore issue strong ministerial guidelines on the use of all painful training devices for the courts to consider in all cases brought before them regarding unnecessary suffering due to the use of these devices.”
The government said the guidelines would be finalized in the coming months, but the first draft of the guidelines was released on Wednesday.
OneKind Director Harry Huyton said: “Electric shock collars are cruel, unnecessary and ineffective.
“I am delighted that the Scottish Government has today taken a stand against cruelty and taken decisive action against their use.”
Mr Golden, who is due to lead a members’ debate on the issue in Holyrood on Thursday, said: “I am very happy that the Scottish government is finally announcing a ban on the use of electric dog collars, which they have listened to. our campaign and the 20,000 people who signed my petition. “