New calls for ban on dog shock collars

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The Independent Online

Pressure is mounting for a UK-wide ban on the use of electric shock collars used for training dogs. Government-commissioned research looking at the devices is expected to be published later this summer.

The Kennel Club is stepping up its campaign urging MPs and MSPs to follow the lead of Wales and outlaw the collars, which are capable of delivering a shock lasting up to 30 seconds. It is estimated that up to 500,000 British dog owners currently use the devices.

Caroline Kisko, the Kennel Club's secretary, said: "The use of electric shock collars is a cruel and unnecessary method for training dogs, which can cause pain and distress."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said research by the University of Lincoln was currently being peer reviewed. "Once that research is finalised, we will consider what action we need to take based on the evidence," she said.

The Electronic Collars Manufacturers Association has denied the collars cause pain.

Its website states: "Most successful training involves a balanced and appropriate blend of both reward and aversive training. Electronic training is most effective as part of just such a balanced training regime."

This week a dog owner was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs for using a battery operated collar in Wales.