A consultation on whether electronic training collars for cats and dogs should be banned or regulated in Scotland has been launched.
It comes after a number of requests for electric shock and vibration collars for animals to be banned.
The Scottish Government is formally seeking views over the next 12 weeks on whether the technology should be subject to tighter controls, or even prohibited altogether.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland is a nation of animal lovers and protecting the welfare of our pets is of paramount importance.
“Over the past while, I have heard strong arguments for a ban on electronic training aids on the grounds of animal welfare.
“As well as valid concerns about the potential for misuse of some these devices, I have also been made aware of situations where these training aids, when used properly, have benefited animal welfare.
“This consultation seeks views on whether electronic aids in Scotland should be subject to tighter controls – like those in New Zealand and Victoria, Australia – or whether the devices should be banned outright, as has happened in other countries such as Wales, Denmark and Germany.
“I urge everyone in Scotland with an interest in the welfare of dogs and cats to have their say before this consultation closes on January 29, 2016.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind dog owners to ensure their animal is microchipped before it becomes compulsory next year.”