AS Wales celebrates the fifth anniversary of a landmark ban on
electronic shock collars, a powerful coalition of organisations has
urged the Welsh Government to retain the ban.
RSPCA Cymru, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and the
Kennel Club have come together to urge the Welsh Government to
retain the legislation amid calls to water down the law. A letter
has been sent to the Welsh Government and all Assembly Members to
highlight the importance of the ban.
In 2010 Wales became the first, and remains the only, UK nation
to introduce a ban on the use of such devices for use on dogs and
Electric shock collars are used to train or control dogs and are
based on applying pain or the fear of to stop an unwanted
behaviour. Scientific studies have shown that such techniques
can compromise welfare and may make behaviour problems worse.
Such techniques are both unacceptable and unnecessary as
reward-based training, where desirable behaviour is rewarded using
praise, toys and treats achieves long term change in behaviour and
doesn't subject dogs to pain or distress.
RSPCA Cymru's head of external affairs Claire Lawson said: "The
prohibition on the use of electronic collars on cats and dogs in
Wales was a pivotal moment for animal welfare; and one which
delivered a clear statement of intent concerning the treatment of
companion animals in this country.
"By implementing a ban on the use of electronic collar for dogs
and cats, with cross-party support, Wales delivered a significant
statement of intent in relation to animal welfare, ensuring
legislation reflects important social norms and values.
"Unfortunately, we are growing increasingly concerned regarding
a campaign seeking to water down existing legislation.
"It is our view, based on existing evidence, that any change to
the law would not be in the interests of the welfare of Wales' cats
and dogs and unpopular with the general public. We oppose any
attempt to weaken the ban on the use of electronic collars on cats
and dogs in Wales.
"As we mark the fifth year of the legislation - we urge for the
full ban to be kept in place to best protect our cats and
Steve Goody, Blue Cross Deputy Chief Executive, said: "There is
no reason that could ever excuse the use of shock collars. Wales
was the first UK nation to ban them and we'd urge decision-makers
to uphold their landmark decision to keep dogs and cats safe from
these unacceptable and unnecessary devices."
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "The Welsh
Assembly's landmark decision to ban the sale and use of electronic
training devices within its jurisdiction was welcomed
wholeheartedly by the Kennel Club and the other animal welfare
organisations. Research conducted prior to, and since the ban has
concluded that the welfare of dogs is compromised by the use of
such equipment. With an array of positive training devices on the
market it is our view that electronic devices are completely
unnecessary. We hope that any kind of review of a measure put
in place to protect the welfare of dogs concludes that the current
regulations should remain in place."
Dee McIntosh, Battersea Communications Director, said: "There is
simply no need for these cruel devices, and it is so important for
the welfare of dogs that Wales continues with its forward-thinking
approach in banning their use. At Battersea, we use positive
reinforcement to train our dogs, and we see every day that this
approach works. Shock collars inflict pain unnecessarily, and we
urge the Welsh Government to keep this ban in place."