Current AffairsVeterinary

BVA and BSAVA call for ban on electric pulse collars

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have demanded a complete ban on electric pulse training collars. The announcement comes in response to the Scottish Government’s current consultation (Nov 6 2015 -Jan 29 2016) on the use of electronic aversive training aids.

BVA and BSAVA’s announcement is a result of consultation and an examination of evidence which has found the collars raise a number of welfare issues, such as the difficulty in accurately judging the level of electric pulse to apply to a dog without causing unnecessary suffering or understanding how variables such as the dog being wet can impact the electric pulse felt.

Grace Webster, President of BVA Scottish Branch, said: “Electronic training devices, such as electric pulse collars, have a negative, painful effect on dogs and can cause them unnecessary suffering.

“We know from our own experience and expertise, and consultation with leading veterinary behaviourists, that using fear as a training tool is less effective than positive reinforcement and can instead take a toll on the dog’s overall welfare. Further to this, it is too easy to purchase one of these devices and despite good guidance and manuals, these are often not read fully, leaving the devices open to misuse in the wrong hands.”

Until further research is completed around the impact of other aversive training collars, such as anti-bark spray collars, BVA and BSAVA are also calling for regulation around the devices’ sale and manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the potential adverse effects of use are highlighted to animal owners and consumers.

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