A recent poll revealed that 31 percent of the public believe that shock collars are already illegal in England, although that is not the case.
Some 84 percent of people know that shock collars cause a dog pain, as it sends between 100 to 6000 Volts to a dog’s neck with the ability to continuously shock a dog for up to 11 seconds at a time. Research shows that physical effects can include yelping, squealing, crouching, and physiological signs of distress in direct response to an electric shock. Furthermore, spray and sonic collars are also widely for sale.
Whilst the use of electronic shock collars is banned in Wales, and Scotland has also made moves towards prohibiting the use of these cruel devices, England has not yet done so.
Only Westminster has the power to ban the sale of electronic shock collars so Dogs Trust is urging members of the public to tweet their MP using the hashtag #ShockinglyLegal to help bring the important issue to light.
Dogs Trust is also holding a reception at the House of Commons with Ross Thompson MP, where they will ask MPs to sign a letter to Secretary of State Michael Gove, backing a ban. Boris Johnson, who compared the practice to caning a child, is among the MPs and peers already pledging support.
Rachel Casey, Dogs Trust’s director of canine behaviour and research, said: “We are appalled that it is still legal to buy and use electronic shock collars in England – 83 percent of dog owners polled said they wouldn’t use them so why on earth are they legal? It is both unnecessary and cruel to resort to the use of these collars on dogs.
“This type of device is not only painful for a dog, it can have a serious negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing. A dog can’t understand when or why it’s being shocked and this can cause it immense distress, with many dogs exhibiting signs of anxiety and worsened behaviour as a result.”
She continued: “Positive based methods, such as using rewards like food, are the most effective and kindest way to train your dog, so there is absolutely no need for owners to even consider the use of these devices. We urge everyone who loves dogs to consider the impact that using these kinds of devices can have on our four-legged friends, and join with us in asking your MP for an immediate ban on their sale and their use.”