The Kennel Club has written to DEFRA Minister Zac Goldsmith calling for swift action to implement a ban on the use of so-called ‘shock’ collars in England, following a court ruling appeal last week that dismissed an appeal from the Association of Electronic Collar Manufacturers and Petsafe.
The outcome of the legal challenge, which previously delayed DEFRA from any legislative action, saw the appeal dismissed as the government presented evidence to show that electric collars can have a detrimental effect on the welfare of dogs .
But a spokesperson for the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association disputed the evidence and said there was a “growing coalition” in favor of electronic collars – including vets.
“The Kennel Club has failed to persuade the Scottish government to ban electronic collars and will face the same fate in England,” ECMA said yesterday.
“This is because the research at the University of Lincoln, upon which the Kennel Club relies, has been dismissed by top academics as” very seriously flawed. “
“The Kennel Club is also aware that questions have been raised in Parliament as to why researchers at Lincoln did not disclose that they campaigned for a ban on training on electronic collars prior to conducting their research. .
The association also said Defra faces the “ problem ” of how to explain why Cabinet Minister Therese Coffey was using an electronic collar on her dog while she was still Minister for Defra.
The Kennel Club called the move a “crowning glory” after the government also announced a new animal welfare action plan last week.
Dr Ed Hayes, Head of Public Affairs at The Kennel Club, said: ‘This flagship plan aims to ensure the UK leads the way in animal welfare and includes a ban on the use of discharge collars. electric, a measure that has lasted a long time. campaigned for the Kennel Club.
“The judgment of the Court of Appeal should be the last step on this relentless road to ban the use of electric necklaces in England and we have written to the Minister to insist that the strong words and the commitments made be quickly converted into action. .
“We are delighted that the government has made a commitment to ban these unnecessary and cruel devices in its action plan; research shows that a reward-based approach is more effective than delivering painful electric shocks when training dogs and major veterinary organizations in the UK and Europe oppose shock collars.
“We have been lobbying the UK government and decentralized administrations a lot for years on this issue. The government had previously pledged to ban these harmful devices, but the legal challenge, which was ultimately closed, significantly delayed DEFRA’s action.
“There is no more room to lose the momentum forward by causing the ban.”
The Kennel Club has claimed that DEFRA-funded research has shown that electronic collars could have a detrimental effect on dog welfare by causing them unnecessary harm and suffering, with 25% of dogs trained with dog collars. shock showing signs of stress.
The use and sale of electric shock collars is currently NOT prohibited in England, with Wales being the only country to have regulations in place which prohibit their use.
In Scotland there are guidelines against the use of electronic collars, but the Kennel Club is lobbying Holyrood to explicitly ban them through legislation.
The Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association said there was a “ growing coalition ” in favor of retaining electronic collars as a key deterrent to dogs that have escaped human control from attacking sheep.
They include veterinarians, who wrote to The Times saying “the welfare consequences of a ban on these collars would be appalling.” There is also an international scientific consensus behind the effectiveness of electronic necklaces.
They are supported by the National Sheep Association and the Countryside Alliance – as does Lord Botham, who this month wrote an article in the Telegraph in which he revealed that the Kennel Club had admitted that he had no evidence ‘of ” intentional or unintentional abuse or abuse. all types of electronic training aids ”.
“The Kennel Club is showing up on the issue. If he had an ounce of intellectual credibility, he would call for a ban on cattle fencing, which are thousands of times more powerful than electronic collars.