England Moves Towards Shock Collar Ban
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 | D for Dog
Did you know that electric shock collars are still legal in England. But hopefully not for much longer. This week brought the fantastic news that the Government has announced a consultation on banning the use of electronic shock collars.
With electric shock collars already banned in Wales and with Scotland poised to follow suit (see Scotland Shock Collar Ban) the Government has now also announced a consultation regarding a ban on the sale and use of shock collars across the UK.
A UK wide ban on these devices is essential in stopping their purchase and use. Harry Huyton, director of animal charity OneKind said:
"With the use of electric shock collars banned in Wales and now Scotland, our attention must turn to Westminster. Even with these bans, anyone can still buy an electric shock collar in the UK for as little as £20 and break the law by using it to abuse animals. If we are to end their use for good, then Westminster needs to legislate against them too."
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is launching the six week consultation amid growing public concern and campaigns from high profile organistations such as Dog's Trust and RSPCA. The consultation will run until 20 April.
Dogs Trust's #shockinglylegal campaign highlighted to MP's the wealth of scientific evidence and professional expertise demonstrating the serious negative effects shock collars can have on dogs.
Dr Rachel Casey, Director of Canine Behaviour and Research at Dogs Trust says:
"We are delighted that the Government has announced a consultation on banning the use of electronic shock collars. This decision is a major step towards improving dog welfare. Dogs Trust has long campaigned on this issue, and we very much hope this will lead to a ban on the use of these devices, as well as evidence the need to ban their sale. Research has shown that the use of shock collars is associated with signs of distress in dogs, but also that positive reward based methods of training are more effective. We look forward to working with the Government on this important issue."
BVA President John Fishwick said:
"We welcome the Government's launch of a consultation on banning the use of shock collars in England and would like to see it result in an effective ban soon."
As it is just at the consultation stage, public support is still needed. Dogs Trust are calling on supporters to tweet their MP on this important issue. They will be sharing this information with the Government in its response to the consultation. So do it today - ask your MP to #banshockcollars.
Defra has launched a consultation on the proposals, which you can take part in here:
Closes 27th Apr 2018.
Shock Collars: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
Electric shock collars are fitted around a dog's neck and deliver an electric shock via a remote control or automatic trigger. They train dogs out of fear of further punishment by administering shocks to the dog when they do not perform what is asked of them.
In our blog in 2013 we looked at why people use these devices and the effects they can have on dogs.
For more info about shock collars, please see Shock Collars: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?