England to ban ‘cruel’ dog training device after 10-year campaign

The Kennel Club which led the campaign has welcomed the news as a ‘historic moment for animal welfare’

Joseph Rachman
Friday 28 April 2023 17:32 BST
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England has banned the use of remote electric shock collars on dogs after a ten-year campaign. The new law will come into force 1 February 2024.

The Kennel Club which led the campaign has welcomed the news as a “historic moment for animal welfare”.

Shock collars can deliver electric shocks to a dog’s neck via a remote control for up to eleven seconds at a time and from up to two miles away, meaning dogs who can’t even see their owners can still be shocked.

The Kennnel Club estimates that up to half a milion dogs stand to benefit from the ban on shock collars, with 5% of dog owners reportedly using them regularly.

Shock collars have been banned in Wales for thirteen years now. They were also banned in France as of January 2023.

The Kennel Club plans to up ramp up its campaign to see these regulations introduced in Scotland as well.

Last month it hosted a drop-in session for MSPs with MSP Christine Graham and the Scottish SPCA. The Scottish Government’s guidance, condemning the use of shock collars in 2018, has been shown to be ineffective.There is wide-ranging evidence demonstrating the detrimental effect that these can have on the welfare of dogs.

A 2019 study carried out by the University of Lincoln found that electric shock collars compromised dog’s well-being, even when used by ‘professional’ e-collar trainers. They were also found to be no more effect than training using positive reinforcement methods.

Mark Beazley, Chief Executive of The Kennel Club said: “The legislation banning electric shock collars in England, which comes into force next year, is a historic moment for animal welfare and will put an end to the misery and suffering of countless dogs who are still subject to these cruel and unnecessary devices.

“There is simply no excuse for using these devices, which cause physical and psychological harm, especially given the vast array of positive training methods available.

“This is the culmination of over a decade of campaigning for us and we applaud Defra for helping to safeguard the welfare of our nation’s much-loved dogs. More action is urgently needed in Scotland, where regulations are needed to replace the ineffective guidance currently in place, and we will not rest until we see the complete ban on these devices that cause suffering and harm.”

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