Friday, 18 March 2016 06:34

RSPCA Call For England Shock Collar Ban Following Wales Review

The RSPCA is calling for the government in England to follow in the footsteps of its Welsh counterpart in banning shock collars after a review of the ban in Wales confirms shock collars cause pain to animals.

It comes after RSPCA Cymru this week welcomed the outcome of a review looking into the shock collar ban.

Next week is the sixth anniversary of when The Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (Wales) Regulations 2010 came into force which banned the use of electronic shock collars on dogs and cats in Wales.

A review of the legislation in Wales concluded that the existing policy will be retained and will not be amended at this time. The review also confirms that the animal welfare impact of any weakening of the law, to allow electronic fence systems or electronic anti-bark collars, is likely to exceed the benefits.

Dr Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals department, said: “We support a  ban of these collars as scientific research clearly shows that the application of an electric shock can cause both a physiological stress response and behaviours associated with pain, fear and stress in animals, therefore impacting on their welfare.

“Furthermore, as animals trained with these devices can show behaviours associated with pain and fear both during training and some time afterwards, the use of shock collars can have long-term effects.”

The ban of shock collars was introduced in Wales in 2010 and the nation remains the only one in the UK to ban the use of such devices for use on dogs and cats.

Now the RSPCA in England is calling on the UK Government to follow in the Welsh Government’s footsteps and bring in a ban.

Electric shock collars are used to train or control dogs and cats and are based on applying pain or the fear of pain to stop an unwanted behaviour. Scientific studies have shown that such techniques can compromise welfare and may make behaviour problems worse.

“Such techniques are both unacceptable and unnecessary as reward-based training, where desirable behaviour is rewarded using praise, toys and treats achieves long-term change in behaviour and doesn’t subject the animal to pain or distress,” Dr Gaines added.

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