MORE than 3000 people have backed an MSP’s bid to ban the sale and use of shock collars for dogs.

Signatures on the site were approaching 3100 last night after leading animal welfare charities expressed their support for the campaign.

Ben Macpherson, who represents Edinburgh Northern and Leith, is calling on Holyrood to use its powers to make causing “pain or distress” to dogs using such devices an offence. He further urges Westminster to bring in new legislation to outlaw the sale of “any electronic training device for dogs that is capable of causing pain or distress”.

People from all over the UK have added their names, as well as others from as far afield as Australia and Luxembourg.

It comes after almost 19,000 people signed a similar petition started by Tory MSP Maurice Golden two months ago calling on the Scottish Government to set up

an outright ban.

Macpherson said the matter is a “serious animal welfare issue” and “only the Tory Westminster government has the power to do the right thing and ban their sale across the UK”.

He said: “I don’t believe that dogs should have to suffer pain during training — it’s ineffective and cruel, and we should instead be encouraging more positive and humane training methods.

“I fully recognise that some specific devices, such as collars which only vibrate and cannot cause pain or distress, offer potential benefits in certain circumstances, such as when dealing with dogs suffering from hearing loss. Use of such innocuous devices could be allowed to continue — while the sale and use of harmful devices should be stopped.”

The Scottish SPCA, the Kennel Club, Dogs Trust and other animal welfare groups have stated their support for the change.

Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, said: “The Scottish SPCA believes that any training or control device that can inflict pain on an animal, from which it has no means of escape, should not be used or offered for sale, therefore we are opposed to the sale and use of electric shock collars. We can see no reason why they should be allowed for sale to the public given that the Home Office banned their use by trained military and police personnel almost a decade ago.”

Harry Huyton, director of the OneKind charity, said: “Electric shock collars cause pain, are unnecessary, and have already been banned in Wales.”