AN MSP has slammed the Scottish Government for ‘flip-flopping’ on its decision to ban electric shock collars for dogs.

Maurice Golden, who represents Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire as part of his West Scotland remit, had led the charge for the ban when he handed a 20,000 signature petition to the administration in January.

And while the government initially pledged to outlaw the collars, it has so far not followed through, leading to several dog welfare organisations to slam its handling of the issue.

Rural affairs minister Mairi Gougeon said ‘the use of electric training aids is not prohibited’ when asked whether shock collars were permitted to be used during parliamentary questions last week.

Mr Golden said: “I was delighted when the Scottish Government announced a ban on electric shock collars. It so disappointing the Scottish Government is now backtracking on implementing this policy.

“It is time for the Scottish Government to explain their position, as they are flip-flopping on this issue while dogs suffer from these harmful devices.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “These claims are wrong – our position on this issue has not changed. 

“The principle of introducing guidance as a deterrent, and the wording of the guidance itself, was developed in consultation with the Kennel Club and a number of animal welfare organisations. It was also agreed we would review the effectiveness of the guidance after 12 months.”