Current Affairs

Fresh call to ban shock collars

The Kennel Club is urging the government to take action following two different research studies which found conclusive proof that electric shock collars do not deliver the promises the manufacturers claim.

Research funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) found that use of electric shock collars on dogs can cause negative behavioural and physiological changes in dogs and were not more effective than positive reinforcement methods.

Furthermore, a second piece of research, which involved the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association, also concluded that electric shock collars are not more effective than positive reinforcement methods (such as reward-based training) for recall and chasing, which are cited as the two main reasons for the use of electric shock collar training on dogs.

The findings from these reports are of little surprise to the Kennel Club, which has campaigned to ban electric shock collars in the UK and has successfully achieved a ban in Wales. Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary said: “There is no denying the results of these two surveys – action needs to be taken now to prevent further harm being done to the UK’s dogs.

“The first study provided strong evidence on its own, but the second research project which was clearly biased through its involvement with the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association, speaks volumes. Even with industry-trained professionals, and the project being conducted by an organisation with a clear agenda, it was still found that electric shock collars often had a detrimental effect on dogs and did not prove to be a better alternative than training using positive reinforcement.”

Following these damning reports, the Kennel Club expects that Defra and the rest of the devolved administrations will announce a ban on electric shock collars. The Kennel Club has written to Ministers in Westminster, Scotland and Northern Ireland to discuss this important issue in greater detail. For further information on the Kennel Club’s campaign against electric shock collars, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/banshockcollars

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