Call to ban sale of ‘cruel’ electric dog collars

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An electric shock collar

A poll for the Dogs Trust found nearly a third of people (31%) mistakenly thought collars, which can shock a dog continuously for 11 seconds, were already banned.

The devices cause dogs to bark, yell, crouch, and exhibit physiological signs of distress, and while they are marketed to improve dog behavior, they can make the animal’s behavior worse, a declared the charity.

Populus’ poll of 2,067 adults also found that 84% knew they caused pain and 83% of dog owners wouldn’t use them.

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Their use has been banned in Wales and Scotland has also taken steps to ban dog owners from using them, but only the UK government can ban their sale nationwide.

The Dogs Trust has launched a #Shockinglylegal campaign, calling on the government to ban their sale and urging people to tweet their MP to demand they support the movement.

The organization is also hosting a reception in the House of Commons, where it will ask MPs to sign a letter to Environment Secretary Michael Gove backing a ban.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who has likened the shock collars to the caning of a child, is already among MPs and peers pledging their support.

Rachel Casey, director of canine behavior and research at the Dogs Trust, said the charity was “appalled” that it was still legal to buy and use electric shock collars in England.

She said: “It is both unnecessary and cruel to resort to using 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 well-being.

“A dog cannot understand when or why they are shocked and this can cause them immense distress, with many dogs showing signs of anxiety and worsening behavior as a result.”

She said positive methods such as using food rewards are the most effective and kindest way to train dogs.

“We urge anyone who loves dogs to consider the impact the use of these types of devices can have on our four-legged friends, and join us in calling on your MP to immediately ban their sale and use.”

Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman said: ‘Last week Labor presented our Animal Welfare Plan, a vision where no animal should suffer unnecessary pain and degradation, and where we continue to raise animal welfare standards in line with the latest advances and understanding.

“That’s why Labor is consulting on banning the use, sale and import of animal shock collars in England, as in Wales and Scotland.”

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