Ban Electric (static) Shock Collars

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As mentioned elsewhere on this site - Northern Inuit dogs, wolfdogs and wolfdog hybrids respond well to reward based training, such as Clicker Training.   Unfortunately many owners take the 'quick fix' route and use Electric Shock Collars to condition their dogs through fear.  This is NOT necessary with these dogs and the KC, RSPCA, APDT and Animal Aid are all calling for a ban on these collars.

 

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Latest News:

Wales the first part of the UK to ban pet shock collars

 

Wales has become the first part of the UK to outlaw the use of electric shock collars to train cats and dogs.

The ban, passed by assembly members, means from midnight anyone caught using the devices faces a fine of up to £20,000 or six months in prison.

Animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA and the Kennel Club supported the move.

 

The Electronic Collar Manufacturers' Association said it feared the ban could lead to an influx of unmanageable pets into dog shelters.

The collars are sometimes used to train dogs and cats by giving an electric shock when the animal is deemed to have behaved badly.

Wales' Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, who announced plans for the ban last month, said she was "very pleased".

"It is important that owners are aware of the ban, and that they now take appropriate steps to comply with the law," she added.  "I'm pleased that as a government, we are taking a proactive approach to promoting the welfare of animals by banning the use of such electronic training devices in Wales."

 

The RSPCA said it believed there was no place for shock collars in modern animal training and recommended the use of reward-based methods instead.

Kennel Club members staged a display of support outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay before the vote.

Its communications director Caroline Kisko said: "This is a historic day for animal welfare in Wales and we are absolutely delighted that so many AMs voted in favour of the regulations.

 

"Today, Wales has proven that it is truly leading the way and we hope that the rest of the UK will follow by example to outlaw these cruel and unnecessary devices."

 

'Bad Idea'

But manufacturers said the devices helped to successfully train dogs not to chase livestock, or attack other pets or people.

 

Duncan McNair, of the Electronic Collar Manufacturers' Association, said: "It's a bad idea because more dogs will die, more dogs will have to be re-homed and more owners will have to be distressed at having to give up their pets."

 

He said there were around 500,000 of the collars in the UK and said, at a rough estimate, there were around 20,000 in Wales.

 

"I wouldn't dream of suggesting that people disobey the law, everybody will be making their own decision about what they do, but what I do think is that if a large number of people who use them stop using them, there will be an influx of dogs into dog shelters."

 

BBC News

24 March 2010

 

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Kennel Club:

Wales

 

After four years of campaigning, the Kennel Club is delighted to announce that the Welsh Assembly has now banned the use of electric shock collars across Wales.

 

The Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (Wales) Regulations 2010 came into force on Wednesday 24th March 2010. The National Assembly for Wales unanimously voted in favour of the regulations making the ban the first of its kind in the UK, and the first piece of secondary regulation to be introduced in Wales under the Animal Welfare Act. For a full press release on the issue click here.

 

The ban follows an announcement on 24th February 2010 by the Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, in which she laid the legislation before the Assembly, who considered and agreed the legislation before the ban was implemented. See our press release on the issue here.

 

Said Elin Jones "After giving due consideration to the arguments, I propose to introduce a ban on the use of electric shock collars in Wales.” She further commented that Wales was “leading the way” with this ban now in place. Elin went on to explain that the ban would stand on any product that induces a shock from which a dog cannot escape.

 

A YouGov survey about Electric Shock Collars, commissioned by the Kennel Club in 2009, that 70% disapproved of the use of electric shock collars on dogs, with only 9% of people approving of their use.

 

This is the first ban of its kind in the UK with Ministers praising the Kennel Club for their relentless pursuit of this subject. Speaking after the announcement Trish Law (AM for Blaenau Gwent) commented “I must just pay tribute to those individuals and groups who have successfully lobbied for a ban, in particular the Kennel Club which has diligently and tirelessly relayed with clarity to AMs its inarguable case for a ban.”

 

However, after a milestone victory for dogs in Wales, the Kennel Club is disappointed to learn of the intention of the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association to seek a Judicial Review on the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision to ban shock collars. Click here for more details.

 

 

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Kennel Club Advises On Electric Shock Collar Ban - Scottish Government Opens Consultation

17-Sep-07

Electric shock collars are used on dogs by some people to give an electric shock when the dog is deemed to be behaving incorrectly. This leads to pain and confusion for the dog, affecting it physically and mentally.   The Kennel Club is campaigning for a complete ban on their sale and use in the UK, and has visited the Scottish government to try to persuade them to do this.

Encouragingly, the Scottish Government has since issued an opinion-seeking consultation on whether electric shock training devices, including collars, mats and leads should be banned. The consultation opened on Friday 7th September, and will be open for 12 weeks.

The Scottish government needs to have the support of the people in Scotland to bring about a ban of electric shock collars, mats and leads.

The Kennel Club therefore urges all Scottish residents to write to their MSP to encourage active support of the ban. For more information on the consultation for a ban in Scotland, visit http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/09/04164628/0. Anyone in the UK who wants to support the Kennel Club call for a ban is encouraged to write to their local MP/MSP. The Kennel Club has produced a template letter, available by request, and on its website under the press office/campaigns section.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said, “There is strong political support for a ban from across the parties within the UK, with Wales and Scotland having made commitments to consider a complete ban. However, more MPs are needed to back the campaign to keep up the momentum, until a ban is brought into place across the UK.”

Pain and fear are not humane methods by which to train a dog. There are many effective positive training methods which are reward based, such as recall training, clicker training and retractable leads. These methods train dogs quickly, easily and reliably, with absolutely no fear, pain, or damage to the relationship between the owner and the dog. There is no justification for electric shock training devices.

First hand accounts prove the psychological and physical damage they cause, dog behaviourists and trainers denounce them, and scientific research proves that electric shock collars can provide intolerable pain when used.

For further information, including the template letter, and advice on the Kennel Club campaign to ban electric shock collars, contact the External Affairs department on   0870 606 6750  ext 301 / laura.vallance@thekennelclub.org.uk or visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk and click on press office / campaigns and schemes.

More information on electric shock training devices:

§         Electric shock collars - worn around a dog’s neck, these work either via a remote control with various settings which, when activated, deliver an electric shock to the neck of a dog or; deliver an electric shock to a dog automatically when a dog barks.

§         Electric shock mats - there are two types of electric mats: one is known as a ‘wireless crate’ and emits electric shocks to the dog when it steps off the mat and the other is called a ‘scat mat’ and emits an electric shock to the dog when it steps on the mat.

§         Electric shock leads - these emit electric shocks to a dog if it exerts more pressure on the lead than is considered ‘normal’ for its size.

First hand experience

Anjelica Steinker, of the Courteous Canine Dog School and Doggie Gym said; “A friend of mine rescued a Jack Russell Terrier after a professional dog trainer had used an electric shock collar to help house train her.

When the terrier came to my friend she was very fearful of urinating and constantly checked herself, presumably for urine. It took several months to housetrain this dog because of all the fear that was caused by the shock collar”.

Pat Miller wrote for Whole-Dog-Journal.com; “Rufus was a typical adolescent Labrador Retriever; Rufus’s energy was a bit much for the younger children. A pet supply store (sold) a product that promised to solve problems with the push of a button. One rainy afternoon, a neighbour sent his son out to the pen to take Rufus for a walk. Rufus wouldn’t let the boy get near him. He said Rufus had this green colour round his neck under the training collar. I carefully removed the collar to find a huge gaping hole in Rufus’ neck, under one of the prongs”.

Dr Susan Benson of the Animal Medical Centre in Preston, Idaho who treated Rufus’ injuries claimed: “This was one of the worst electrical burns I have seen other than dogs who have had contact with high power lines.”

Scientific research

 

Independent scientific research confirms that the collars are both ‘painful and frightening’, and influence the dog’s well being negatively in the long term (Matthijs B.H. Schilder and Joanne A.M. van der Borg, was published in the Applied Animal Behaviour Science Journal)

Professional Trainers

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), one of the UK’s largest professional pet dog training bodies, has also joined the campaign. According to the APDT there is no behaviour or training problem in dogs that is best dealt with by delivering an electric shock to a dog.

Establishments that have already banned electric shock collars, include the Association of Chief Police Officers, the armed forces, and the two largest German Shepherd Dog clubs in the country - they have imposed a voluntary ban on the use of electric shock collars to train their dogs.

Shock collars fail to address underlying behavioural problems and can give rise to more serious problems. Confusion over where the painful shock has come from means the dog is more likely to associate it with something in its immediate environment than with its behaviour at the time. This can make attacks on owners, other dogs and animals more likely if the dog believes that they are the source of the pain.

 

Electric Shock Collar Campaign

21-Nov-07

Please join the Kennel Club in calling upon the Government, Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly to introduce an outright ban on this barbaric method of training dogs.

The Kennel Club has long been campaigning for electric shock training devices to be completely banned across the UK.  Electric shock training devices train a dog to respond out of fear of further punishment, having received an electric shock when it does not perform what is asked of it, rather than from a natural willingness to obey.  In order for the devices to serve effectively as a training tool, the dog has to perceive the shock as painful - moreover if the dog does not respond, the punishment has to escalate, creating further potential for abuse.

The Kennel Club has welcomed recent consultations issued by the Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly Government seeking views on whether to ban electric shock training aids including collars, leads and mats.  For further details on how to get involved in the campaign please see the following sections below.

Scotland

The Scottish Government  issued a consultation seeking views on the use, sale, distribution and possession of electric shock collars and other such training devices including electric mats and electric leads in Scotland. The consultation closed on 30 November 2007 and the results of this consultation have yet to be published.  


In the meantime, the Kennel Club is urging all those who support the campaign and wish to see a ban in Scotland to write to your MSP and ask them to write to the responsible Minister, Richard Lochhead MSP, outlining their support for such a ban.  Your MSP can also sign Motion S3M-428 Electric Training Devices.  You can find out who your MSP is by visiting www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/membersPages/msplocator.htm  

A standard form of words can be found by clicking the link below:

Suggested form of words to a MSP

Wales

The Welsh Assembly Government issued a consultation seeking views on the use of electric training aids in Wales. The consultation closed on 8 February 2008.

The Kennel Club is delighted that after many years of campaigning Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has announced the Welsh Assembly Government will ban electric shock collars in Wales.

Said Elin Jones "After giving due consideration to the arguments, I propose to introduce a ban on the use of electric shock collars in Wales.” She further commented that Wales was “leading the way” with this ban now in place. Elin went on to explain that the ban would stand on any product that induces a shock from which a dog cannot escape. 

This is the first ban of its kind in the UK with Ministers praising the Kennel Club for their relentless pursuit of this subject. Speaking after the announcement Trish Law (AM for Blaenau Gwent) commented “I must just pay tribute to those individuals and groups who have successfully lobbied for a ban, in particular the Kennel Club which has diligently and tirelessly relayed with clarity to AMs its inarguable case for a ban.”

Westminster

Although there has been no consultation issued by DEFRA the Kennel Club remains committed to keeping the issue high on the political agenda.

David Drew MP has tabled an Early Day Motion on the issue and the Kennel Club is encouraging people to write to their MP asking them to sign EDM 288 to show their support for the issue.

You can find out who your MP is by visiting www.upmystreet.com/commons/l/

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Electric Shock Collar Ban Supported By The APDT

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the UK’s largest professional pet dog training body, is joining the fight to have the use of electric shock collars banned under the new Animal Welfare Bill.

The APDT has a very strict code of conduct for its members, ensuring that dogs are trained only in a positive and humane way. The APDT believes that electric shock collars are totally at odds with this code as that these devices train dogs punitively using pain and fear.

The Kennel Club has been heading the anti-shock collar campaign in the UK, and the APDT is proud to support them in their goal – along with an ever-growing number of professionals and members of the dog-owning public who agree that there is no place in a humane society for such aversive and painful methods of training.

Modern dog training methods have thankfully progressed far from the days when punishment was the most common method of teaching dogs – in the same way as education has progressed from caning children in schools. The APDT acknowledges that there is no behaviour or training problem in dogs that is best dealt with by delivering an electric shock into a dog’s neck.

The APDT firmly believes all problems should be overcome using up-to-date reward-based training methods and responsible dog ownership – following the APDT’s motto of “kind, fair and effective”. The APDT further recognises that not only are these collars inhumane, but their use can give rise to far more serious problems than the ones originally being treated – often causing serious aggression or debilitatingly fearful behaviours, as they tap directly into a dog’s natural ‘flight or fight’ response.

A spokesperson for the APDT said “We are totally committed to having these barbaric pieces of equipment consigned to dog training history. It is our professional opinion that it is totally unacceptable to train dogs using such inhumane devices, and a complete ban should be implemented as soon as possible. Dogs are meant to be man’s best friend – and you don’t cause your best friend pain and fear in the name of training.”


USEFUL LINKS

www.apdt.co.uk

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RSPCA Welcomes Electric Shock Collar Ban In Wales [27/06/2008]

The decision to ban the use of electric shock collars in Wales has been warmly welcomed by the RSPCA.

Elin Jones, the Minister for Rural Affairs, also announced that consideration will be given to whether their sale and possession should be included in the legislation.

The world's oldest animal welfare charity responded to a Welsh Assembly Government consultation earlier in 2008 on the use of electric training aids. The RSPCA argued that such aids cause unnecessary suffering to dogs and also promote aggression in a wide variety of species.

These devices have recently banned by the armed forces dog unit and also by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Positive speech based training methods are recommended by the RSPCA, but where these are not appropriate, alternative aversion therapies are suggested. These include citronella spray collars which are already available and accepted by dog owners.

David Bowles, RSPCA Head of External Affairs said: "We are delighted with the stance that the Welsh Assembly Government has taken in banning the use of these instruments of cruelty and we hope that the Welsh Assembly will go as far as to ban the sale and possession.

"This is the first major piece of legislation in Wales and England under the Animal Welfare Act and we fully support and congratulate the Minister on her commitment to improving the standards of animal welfare in Wales."

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Animal Aid

Ban Electric Shock Collars

Electric shock collars for dogs will now be banned in Wales, thanks to pressure from concerned individuals and groups. With Wales leading the way, it's time these cruel and unsuitable training methods are made illegal in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland too. Shock collars consist of a small battery fitted to the collar, which has two blunt metal probes that make contact with the dog's neck. To teach the dog not to do something, the owner can administer an electric shock - that can be increased in strength - using a remote control. In addition to causing pain, electric shock collars can cause behavioural problems, as the dog may associate anything they happen to see in front of them with the shock. Many dogs can be turned into nervous wrecks as a result. Dogs love to learn so training should always be enjoyable and rewarding, not a frightening or painful experience. Please contact your MP and ask them to ban these unnecessary, cruel and outdated devices and instead promote responsible training methods.

Contact your MP

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Kennel Club ‘Call to Action’: Please Help to Ban Electric Shock Collars

27 May 2006

Once again, the Kennel Club cannot understand WHY Defra will not take notice of the increasing political pressure to ban remote control electric shock collars and anti-bark electric shock collars under the Animal Welfare Bill. Not only has Defra been receiving copies of letters from MP’s constituents highlighting their concerns about electric shock collars, the petition (otherwise known as an Early Day Motion) tabled by Tony Baldry MP has now attracted signatures from 88 MPs.

 

It clearly states that they: condemn the sale and use of remote control electric shock collars to train and control dogs; consider the use of such devices to be cruel and unnecessary; understand that alternative positive training methods produce dogs which are trained more quickly and reliably with no potential for abuse or cruelty; recognise that because dogs are highly reactive to learning experiences and have a strong bond with humans that their natural instincts can be utilised to train them easily; and call upon the Government to introduce a complete ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars as part of the Animal Welfare Bill.

 

Now Defra needs to come under public pressure to ban the sale and use of remote control electric shock collars and anti-bark collars. The Kennel Club is extremely grateful to those readers, who have already taken the time to write to their MPs to deplore the use of the collars. This is especially important given that the issue of electric shock collars is likely to be voted on when the Bill returns to the Commons before the summer recess.

 

However Defra is receiving post from dog trainers who employ unnecessarily aversive training methods to address the effect and not the root cause of behavioural problems. Since they promote to Defra that training dogs through fear and pain works and does not harm the dogs, it is becoming increasingly important that Defra also receives correspondence directly from concerned members of the public.

Said Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary: “Defra is under pressure from MPs to ban the sale and use of electric shock collars. Defra has also been presented with independent, conclusive and scientific research papers proving the long term negative effects that the use of these training devices have on dogs. Defra now needs to hear from the dog world about why it should impose a total ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars”.

 

Readers can write to Defra at: Animal Welfare Bill Team, The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,1a Page Street, London, SW1P 4PQ

Since there is also likely to be a free vote on electric shock collars when it returns to the House of Commons, you should copy this letter to your MP and send it to the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

 

SUGGESTED FORM OF WORDS

(Please write your own version if you have the time as this greatly increases the effectiveness of the letter)

 

Dear Animal Welfare Bill Team,

I am writing to urge you to completely ban the sale and use of electric shock collars in the Animal Welfare Bill regulations.

Electric shock collars worn around the neck of a dog have essentially one function, which is to deliver a painful shock to a dog.  This trains a dog to respond out of fear of further punishment - having received a shock when it does not perform what is asked of it rather than through a natural willingness to obey.

Shock collars are readily available by mail order, via retail outlets and on the Internet. There is no restriction on them being sold to unscrupulous people, or people with little or no experience in training. Anyone can place it on a dog and administer 'correctional' treatment.  I do not view this as acceptable.

Pain and fear are not humane methods by which to educate or train any creature, especially since other, positive, training tools and methods produce dogs that are trained quickly, easily and reliably, with absolutely no fear, pain, or potential damage to the relationship between dog and handler. These include recall training, clicker training and using retractable leads. With these alternatives available, there is no justification for using electric shock collars, which are designed to cause a dog pain in order to alter behaviour.

 

Peer reviewed research conducted by independent institutions and dating back for decades, has proved that using electric stimulus on animals has a long-term negative effect.

 

Please completely ban the sale and use of these products, as I do not see how they have any place in a civilised society.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely


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"Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life."

~Wovoka, Paiute~

 

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