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Time For A Ban On Electric Shock Collars, The Public Tells Westminster

24 February 2014    13:30
Dog wearing electric shock collar
 

Overwhelming public support for ban on these cruel dog devices in England and Scotland finds Kennel Club research

The Kennel Club has commissioned an independent survey into the public's opinion of electric shock collars in England and Scotland, which found that:

  • 73% of the public disapprove of the use of electric shock collars on dogs
  • 81% agree that positive reinforcement training methods can address behavioural issues in dogs without the need for negative training methods
  • 74% of the public would support the government to introduce a ban on electric shock collars

The Kennel Club is urging both Westminster and the Scottish government to take action following a Kennel Club funded survey which found that the majority of the general public are against the use of electric shock collars and would support the government in introducing a ban on these devices.

The Kennel Club is against the use of negative training methods or devices and believes that they are both irresponsible and ineffective. There a large number of positive training tools and methods that can produce well trained dogs with absolutely no fear, pain or potential damage to the relationship between dog and handler. Furthermore, some of the most highly trained dogs in the world, including police dogs, armed forces dogs and assistance dogs are trained without the use of electric shock collars.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published two research studies last year which demonstrated negative behavioural and physiological changes in dogs which were trained with electric shock collars. The research also showed that even when electric shock collars were used on dogs by professional trainers following an industry standard, there were still long term negative welfare effects.  Despite this, England and Scotland have yet to follow in Wales' footsteps in banning electric shock collars, and the Kennel Club hopes that the findings of its new research will let the government know that the public would be behind them on a ban.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "The results are absolutely clear. A large majority of the public are against the use of electric shock collars and would support both Westminster and the Scottish government in banning these cruel devices.

"The Scottish government supports Westminster with their current proposal and response to its own funded research, which is to work on creating guidance with the electric shock collar manufacturers regarding how to best use these tools without compromising the dog's welfare. This does not reflect what the public wants and the Kennel Club and other major welfare organisations and Parliamentarians believe this would fail in protecting dog welfare, as the Defra research itself has shown.

"It is time for the rest of the UK to follow in Wales' lead and stop delaying what the evidence has highlighted is needed, and what the public has clearly said they want - a ban on the use of electric shock collars.  Now really is the perfect time."

Electric shock collars are already outlawed in a number of countries worldwide, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, and in most states in Australia.

The survey follows the introduction of Matthew Offord MP's Ten Minute Rule Bill in Westminster last month calling for a ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars, which will have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday February 28th.

More information on the Kennel Club's campaign to ban electric shock collars can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/banshockcollars.

Help us achieve a ban, write to your MP or MSP:

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ENDS


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Electric Shock Collars

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