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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-19654: Colin Smyth (South Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 29 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether its new Guidance on Dog Training Aids will have the same effect as a full legal ban.

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 7 November 2018

The use of electronic training aids is not prohibited; however the Guidance makes it clear that causing unnecessary suffering through their inappropriate use may be, depending upon the circumstances of the case, an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 if the user knew (or ought to have known) that the action would cause unnecessary suffering. A separate offence may be committed, depending upon the circumstances of the case, if a person does not take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that the needs of the animal for which the person is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice. These needs of the animal include its requirement to be protected from suffering and injury, its need for suitable environment and its need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns. The Guidance may also be considered relevant by the courts in any prosecution of either of these two offences relating to inappropriate training methods, but the relevance of the Guidance will depend on the facts and circumstances of a particular case.