Thursday, 19 April 2018

A ban on shock collars

By now you'll be familiar with our ethos here at Hubble & Hattie: to publish books that are of real benefit to the species they cover, whilst also promoting compassion, understanding and respect between all animals. For us, the wellbeing of animals is paramount, so when animal welfare makes the news, it always piques our interest ... 

There has been a lot of talk lately of the government introducing a ban on electric shock collars. The devices, which are used to aid training or to discipline pets, are often remotely controlled, and send an electric shock to the animal at the touch of a button. Wales already has in place a ban on such collars, with Scotland following suit imminently. 

Other so-called training collars squirt noxious sprays, which campaigners warn can disrupt a dog's acute sense of smell, whereas others can emit a sound painful to a dog's hearing. 

A recent survey carried out by The Kennel Club found that three quarters of those questioned would support a ban on the use of these collars. The same survey revealed that a third of dogs let out a cry of pain at the first use of a shock collar. What's more, animal behaviourist and veterinary surgeon Kendal Shepherd reports that she has seen evidence of animals with burns and scars, due to these horrific collars being used on pets. 

Speaking to The Guardian, The Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: "Training a dog with an electric shock collar causes physical and psychological harm and is never acceptable, especially given the vast array of positive training methods available. We hope that a ban on their use is imposed swiftly."

To help illustrate the point that shock collars should be banned in England, Dogs Trust teamed up with the Channel 5 show Do The Right Thing with Eamon and Ruth at the end of last month. One of the panellists, Roman Kemp, wore a shock collar on his arm for the duration of the segment. Presenter Eamon Holmes was in control of the button, and when pressed, the shock made Kemp jump out of his seat. "You kind of feel the shock throughout your whole body. It's vicious, it's a weapon," said Kemp of his experience. If these collars spark this reaction in a human, how can their use on animals be allowed?

You have until the 27th of April if you would like to share your views and support the ban on electric shock collars. To do so, please contact the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and do something good for animals! 

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