The Kennel Club (KC) is urging the Government to take action after research found a significant majority of the general public in England is against the use of electric shock collars for dogs and would support the introduction of a ban.

An independent survey commissioned by the KC found:

  • 72% of the English public disapprove of the use of electric shock collars on dogs
  • 79% agree positive reinforcement training methods can address behavioural issues in dogs without the need for negative training methods; and
  • 74% of the public would support the Government introducing a ban on electric shock collars.

The survey follows the introduction of MP Matthew Offord’s Ten Minute Rule Bill last month calling for a ban on the sale and use of electric shock collars, and will have its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday, February 28.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published two research studies last year, which demonstrated negative behavioural and physiological changes in dogs that were trained with electric shock collars.

The research also showed that even when electric shock collars were used on dogs by professional trainers following an industry standard, there were still long-term negative welfare effects.

Despite this, Westminster is still to take action and follow in Wales’ footsteps in banning electric shock collars.

KC secretary Caroline Kisko said: “The results are absolutely clear. A large majority of the public is against the use of electric shock collars and would support the Government in banning these cruel devices.

“The Government’s current proposal and response to its own funded research is to work on creating guidance with the electric shock collar manufacturers regarding how to best use these tools without compromising the dog’s welfare. This does not reflect what the public wants and the KC and other major welfare organisations and parliamentarians believe this would fail in protecting dog welfare, as the Defra research itself has shown. 

“It is time for the Government to stop delaying what the evidence has highlighted is needed, and what the public has clearly said it wants – a ban on the use of electric shock collars.”

Electric shock collars are already outlawed in a number of countries worldwide, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, and in most states in Australia.

More information on the KC’s campaign to ban electric shock collars can be found on the club’s website.

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