MINISTERS faced calls at Holyrood to ban the use of electric shock dog and cat collars, with MSPs describing the controversial use of the devices as an “abhorrent” and a deliberate infliction of pain on animals.
The government was criticised by its own backbenchers for failing to back the bill from SNP MSP Christine Grahame, with another nationalist politician Dennis Robertson, who uses a guide dog, comparing the use of the shock collars to hitting a child.
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Mr Robertson said pet owners should cuddle their pets and offer them treats as an alternative form of control, as he fed a biscuit to his dog in Holyrood’s chamber during the debate today.
Environment minister Aileen McLeod rejected cross party calls to ban the doll collars and follow the example of the Welsh Assembly, which outlawed the use of the devices in 2010.
However, Mr Robertson, who is Holyrood’s only blind MSP, called for an outright ban on the collars and said that “any deliberate infliction of pain on an animal is abhorrent”.
Ms Grahame challenged politicians who oppose the ban to try out the collars for themselves, as she was joined by SNP MSP Ken Gibson in calling on ministers to act on the issue.
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