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Electric collars questioned

Mr David Rendal, MP for Newbury, last week presented to the House of Commons the Animals (Electric Shock Collars) bill which seeks to ban the use of electric shock collars as a training aid.

The bill, presented for the second time by Mr Rendal who also spoke out about them in February 1997, was supported by the Kennel Club in its early stages when they made a presentation to the Associate Parliament Group for Animal Welfare. The group subsequently wrote to DEFRA expressing its concerns. The Bill fell because of formal opposition.

The subject of electric shock collars has also been discussed by the Dog Legislation Advisory Group founded in 2001 and of which the Kennel is a constituent member.

Aware of the MP’s positive stance, in July 1997 the Kennel Club issued a press release suggesting that such ‘aids’ were not sold at KC licensed events. In later years the subject focussed the minds of other concerned parties including the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

The use of such collars was banned from use in government departments such as the MoD, the police and the prison service, all of whom were using them as a training aid after the successful lobbying by animal welfare agencies.

It is now thought that the proposed ban may be incorporated in the Animal Welfare Bill.

Echoing the concerns of all, the KC General Committee at its meeting on July 22nd 1997 indicated that such equipment should not be sold at KC licensed shows. This was said to be a reflection of the KC Code of Practice which clearly states that ‘preference should be given to motivational methods of training which take into account the breed and nature of each individual dog’.